SmackDown Live Possibly Leaving The USA Network Soon


Hollywood Reporter Editorial Director Matthew Belloni posted information Wednesday indicating that Smackdown Live could be done on the USA Network, while Raw is sticking around at triple the price they're now making.

Considering Vince McMahon is very familiar with professional football and their ties to networks, it wouldn't surprise me that he takes a page from the NFL and spreads the WWE to different companies to generate more revenue.

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It looks like SmackDown Live could be leaving USA Network sooner than later because of the fact Raw is such a large property. NBCU had paid $30 million for the SmackDown franchise in 2010.

Interesting tidbit among all the TV news today: NBCU is letting WWE SMACKDOWN go to open bidding. It marked the first time that the top three shows were broadcast on the same network. It is unknown what FOX's plan would be if it only acquires SmackDown as it has a number of other networks that could potentially air the programming, though it could also make a play for WWE developmental brand NXT, which airs a one-hour show Wednesday nights on the WWE Network. SmackDown started airing live in May 2016, increasing the value for advertising during the wrestling show.

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For the past few years now, NBCUniversal owned the rights to both WWE Raw and Smackdown Live. At the time, US aired five hours of live WWE programming a week; WWE programming now airs two nights a week on USA. By airing on broadcast television every week, WWE could be motivated to stack SmackDown as much as possible.

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