WWE SmackDown is going to have a new home. Starting in October 2024, the show will be moving to USA Network, where it aired from 2016 to 2019. The deal is rumored to be worth $1.4 billion, which is higher than the $1 billion that Fox paid in 2019. SmackDown is expected to remain on Friday nights following the move.
As a part of the deal, WWE will also produce four primetime specials for NBC each year. No additional details on these specials have been released.
Of course, USA Network is currently the home of WWE Raw and has been the home of Raw for most of its existence. It seems like that could be coming to an end, according to the Hollywood Reporter:
While the new deal will bring WWE to NBC primetime and SmackDown to USA on Friday nights, it will also mean the end of Raw and NXT on USA.
A source familiar with the Raw discussions tell The Hollywood Reporter that the market for the program is “extremely active,” with traditional linear networks, streaming services and “unexpected players” all interested.
It remains possible that Raw stays within the NBC Universal family, however. The Sports Business Journal says “NBCU is considered a front-runner to renew its ‘Raw’ deal.”
Of course, it could end up moving to a different channel or streaming service, either within the NBCU family or elsewhere, and it could even potentially end up on a different day.
It’s also currently unknown what this could mean for NXT, which currently airs on USA Network on Tuesdays.
“NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades,” said WWE President Nick Khan in a press release. “We are excited to extend this longstanding relationship by bringing SmackDown to USA Network on Friday nights and look forward to debuting multiple WWE special events annually on NBC.”
“It’s a privilege and thrill to continue NBCU’s decades-long partnership with WWE which has helped cement USA Network’s consistent position as the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership” said Frances Berwick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment. “With Friday nights on USA, primetime specials on NBC, and the WWE hub on Peacock, we’ll continue to use the power of our portfolio to super-serve this passionate fanbase.”
More From LWOS Pro Wrestling
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.