WWE 'Smackdown' Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Pin Down 'Raw'


NBCUniversal is expected to pay as much as three times the current deal for Raw, which airs on USA Network.

Hollywood Reporter Editorial Director Matthew Belloni posted information Wednesday indicating that Smackdown Live could be done on the USA Network, while Raw is sticking around at triple the price they're now making. SmackDown has only aired on U.S. for about two years, moving over on January 7, 2016.

WWE's television contract is expiring in 2019 with the USA Network.

Different networks can have distinct viewerships.

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With the rumors that FOX is looking to acquire the WWE, one of the topics that Barrios brought up was could WWE programming exist within networks of two separate companies.

It looks like SmackDown Live could be leaving USA Network sooner than later because of the fact Raw is such a large property. NBCU and WWE declined to comment on the still-ongoing negotiation. While the show has remained on Monday nights, it started as an hour-long program before moving to two hours and now three hours, airing from 8-11 p.m. ET.

Smackdown, which still boasts the sixth biggest audience among cable originals (including news programming), enters the open market as sports and sports entertainment (WWE wrestling is staged) programming has been fetching a premium given the live tune-in that comes with it. At the time, United States of America aired five hours of live WWE programming a week; WWE programming now airs two nights a week on USA.

If it does play out this way, it's a dream scenario for WWE.