WWE ‘Smackdown’ Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Lock Down ‘Raw’

There’s a major live-sports rights bargain up for nab.

Sources disclose to The Hollywood Reporter that WWE’s Smackdown is being shopped to multiple networks after NBCUniversal — whose USA Network has broadcast the profoundly appraised star wrestling matches — declined to re-up its arrangement. NBCUniversal is said to center around recharging its agreement for WWE’s Raw, another wrestling franchise, and that arrangement is relied upon to close at as much as three times its present worth. NBCU and WWE declined to remark on the as yet continuous transaction.

NBCUni scored rights to Smackdown — the second-longest-running week after week show in U.S. Television history — in 2010. At the time, NBCUni is said to have paid $30 million for rights to the franchise. The show originally aired that year on the Syfy channel, with corporate kin USA Network vigorously advancing it. Smackdown moved full time to USA Network in January 2016, as the cable network home to Mr. Robot and The Sinner broadcast each of the three WWE programs: Smackdown, Raw and Tough Enough. It denoted the first occasion that the main three shows were communicated on the same network. Smackdown began airing live in May 2016, growing the value for advertising during the wrestling program. At the time, USA aired five hours of live WWE programs in a week. WWE programming at this time broadcasts two evenings per week on USA.

Smackdown, which still brags the 6th greatest group of viewers among original cable shows (counting news programming), enters the open market as sports and sports-entertainment (WWE wrestling is organized) programming has been garnering a premium given the live-tune in that comes with it

Fox this year inked a monstrous five-year, $550 million yearly arrangement for rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football as the broadcast network centers around sports and news. In 2012, Major League Baseball, Fox Sports Media Group and Turner Broadcasting entered an eight-year national media rights bargain for postseason games said to be worth $12.4 billion.

In any case, supporters have addressed whether there is a cap for sports rights. Disney and ESPN not long ago inked their first-ever multiyear transaction for digital rights to live UFC Fight Night events in an arrangement worth $750 million ($150 million every year) beginning in January 2019. Those matches will be aired on ESPN+, the sports channel’s OTT stage. Be that as it may, UFC linear TV rights are still being shopped by Endeavor, which bought UFC in 2016 for $4 billion as a part of its efforts into content possession. (Fox Sports is as of now the linear home for UFC.)

WWE ‘Smackdown’ Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Lock Down ‘Raw’

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