NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule

WWE Smack Down Live General Manager Paige

WWE has talked with the USA Network, FOX, Disney, CBS, Amazon, and YouTube. According to the report, NBCUniversal is said to be close to renewing the deal for RAW at three times its current value. Fox has been speculated as a home for Smackdown, sources say.

But now it looks like SmackDown Live will have to find a new home, as The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that NBCUniversal declined to re-up their deal with WWE for SmackDown, and the show is now being shopped to various different networks.

WWE's deal with USA / NBC expires on September 30, 2019, and they are now in an exclusive negotiating period with each other until the end of this spring. As such, WWE would potentially want to tailor SmackDown Live for a new demographic, which in turn could mean Raw and SmackDown Live adopting identities specific to their respective networks.

SmackDown Live has aired on USA Network since July 2016, and it has been under the NBCUniversal umbrella dating back to 2010, when it was on Syfy. SmackDown started airing live in May 2016, increasing the value for advertising during the wrestling show.

The Fox connection has been in the conversation for months now with there even being rumor and innuendo that Fox could try to buy WWE outright. Not only do they get to keep their long-standing relationship with NBC/USA, but they would also have the energy of another media conglomerate behind them in Fox. It was a match made in heaven with both shows airing every Monday and Tuesday night on the network's USA TV channel.

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