WWE SmackDown Set For TV Bidding War?

WWE SmackDown Set For TV Bidding War?”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, SmackDown is now up for open bidding and the TV rights are being shopped to various networks. NBCU is said to be focusing on renewing its pact for WWE's Raw, another wrestling franchise, and that deal is expected to close at as much as three times its current value.

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

WWE's Smackdown Live, the House that A.J. Styles (above) Built, may not have a home on USA Network if reports of NBCU's new deal with WWE come to pass. Fox has been speculated as a new home for SmackDown, though this should be taken with a hint of cynicism. WWE's final decision on the deal is reportedly planned to be announced sometime during the summer.

The company's current contract with NBC Universal will come to an end in 2019 and the WWE is now in a negotiation period to determine where their programming ends up. It first aired on SyFy before moving to U.S. in 2016. It marked the first time that the top three shows were broadcast on the same network. 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.

WWE's CFO, George Barrios, commented on the possibility of Raw and SmackDown airing on separate networks when he said the following at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Conference.

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