Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule

NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule

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.

However in 2019 the current TV deal between the WWE and NBCUniversal is expiring and this could change the landscape for Smackdown Live.

It sounds like NBCUniversal is able to afford airing Raw only so Smackdown Live may have to find a new network to call home.

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THR reports that NBCUniversal is focusing on renewing Raw and as a result, Smackdown is being shopped to various networks.

NBCU took over the rights for SmackDown in 2010, and started airing the show on SyFy before moving it to USA Network in 2016. It first aired on SyFy before moving to US in 2016. WWE programming is an obvious fit for the "new Fox" focused on sports and live events and SmackDown could anchor Fox programming on Tuesday nights. Back in 2012, Major League Baseball, Fox Sports Media Group and Turner Broadcasting entered an eight-year national media rights deal for postseason games said to be worth $12.4 billion. While the pro wrestling giants have geared much of their business towards the importance of WWE Network, the weekly Raw and SmackDown programs are still of huge significance to the company.

For now, it looks like a bidding war is happening for Smackdown Live and the highest bid will finally get the show from next year onward.

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