http://www.espn.com/wwe/story/_/id/2356 ... kdown-live
What's interesting is that NBC Universal (USA) will still have RAW... while a "rival" network will have Smackdown. That may seem like a big deal, but I'd relate it to how all the major sports are split on competing networks and it's not a huge deal.wrote:WWE has agreed in principle to make Fox the new home of "SmackDown Live," after the network came to WWE with what sources described as a "massive" offer.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that the five-year deal has a total value of more than $1 billion.
Sources said the deal will begin in October 2019, with The Wrap reporting that the show will move to Friday nights on Fox's broadcast channel.
A representative for WWE declined to comment. A Fox spokesperson could not immediately be reached.
As first reported by the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, NBC Universal declined its right of first refusal to hit the numbers that WWE proposed on "SmackDown." NBC instead focused its efforts on "Monday Night Raw."
With live TV viewed as a prized commodity in the era of DVR and on-demand and "SmackDown Live" straddling the worlds of scripted and sports TV, Fox greatly valued the opportunity to pursue one of WWE's signature programs.
"SmackDown Live," which airs on Tuesdays, has averaged 2.59 million viewers per week in 2018, while "Raw" has averaged about 3 million viewers.