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


But the relationship of WWE and NBCU will not be completely severed as Monday Night Raw will continue to air on USA Network.

The Comcast-owned television company, NBCUniversal, according to sources close to The Hollywood Reporter have indicated that they have made moves to try and secure a multi-year deal with Vincent K. McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment to keep WWE Raw - the longest running episodic program in USA television history - at close to three times its current value. The original story from The Hollywood Reporter stated that the new deal would only be for RAW at three times its current value.

It has been long rumored that FOX had been looking to acquire both WWE RAW and WWE Smackdown once the wrestling company's current contract expires.

WWE's deal with USA / NBC expires on September 30, 2019, and they are now in an exclusive negotiating period with each other until the end of this spring. WWE will seek a new home for Smackdown on the open market, effectively splitting their programming.

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. The show began airing that year on Syfy, with corporate sibling U.S. heavily promoting it. Smackdown moved full time to US in January 2016, as the cable network home to Mr. Robot and The Sinner aired all three WWE shows: Smackdown, Raw and Tough Enough.

For now, it looks like a bidding war is happening for Smackdown Live and the highest bid will finally get the show from next year onward.