Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

WWE 'Smackdown' Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Pin Down 'Raw'

WWE 'Smackdown' Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Pin Down 'Raw'

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.

NBCUniversal is willing to lose the television rights to SmackDown Live while maintaining its relationship with WWE to air Raw on USA Network, The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni reported Wednesday.

NBCU is said to be focusing on renewing the deal for RAW.

Reportedly, NBCUniversal paid $30 million for the rights to Smackdown Live in 2010, but the deal in 2019 would have been way more expensive.

WWE and NBCU both declined comment on the negotiations, which are still underway.

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No word yet on where SmackDown will end up but Fox has been speculated.

It's worth noting that Fox Sports president Eric Shanks, Fox Sports talent producer Jacob Ullman and Fox Sports talker Colin Cowherd attended the SmackDown Live tapings in Los Angeles back in February.

Smackdown Live moved to the USA Network July of 2016, after 17 years of appearing on SyFy, MyNetworkTV, UPN and others. It marked the first time that the top three shows were broadcast on the same network.

Fox this year inked a massive five-year, $550 million annual deal for rights to the NFL's Thursday Night Football as the broadcast network begins to focus on sports and news.

Rumors surfaced earlier this year that Fox Sports could be a good candidate to broadcast WWE shows in the near future.

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