Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

WWE SmackDown Set For TV Bidding War?

WWE SmackDown Set For TV Bidding War?

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 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.

Fox has emerged as one of the potential buyers as the network expressed its interest in acquiring the rights to Raw and SmackDown last March, per Michael McCarthy of Sporting News.

PWInsider contacted WWE regarding the report and responded by saying "No comment". According to those same sources, the "House that (WWE Champion) A.J. Styles Built" is going to be left up for open bidding by other networks.

SmackDown Live has aired on USA Network since July 2016, and it has been under the NBCUniversal umbrella dating back to 2010, when it was on Syfy.

This won't be the first time both Raw and Smackdown will be on different TV channels as the shows were separated in the early '00s.

If WWE increases their revenue for Raw and manages to land a good contract for SmackDown Live, then that will be a major financial boost for the company - not that they need it. This could be a very big deal pretty soon for a new network looking for a boost on Tuesday nights.

If it does play out this way, it's a dream scenario for WWE. In addition to Raw and Smackdown, WWE produces Main Event and Superstars for their streaming Network service.

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