One of World Wrestling Entertainment’s biggest entities is on the move yet again, and it means big money for the top professional wrestling company in the world.
The WWE and FOX have agreed to a “massive” television contract centered around “SmackDown LIVE,” ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported Monday, citing sources. The Hollywood Reporter followed up Rovell’s report, indicating it’s a five-year deal worth more than $1 billion. FOX will pay $205 million per year for the show.
As part of the deal, “SmackDown LIVE,” will move from its current Tuesday night slot on the USA Network to Friday nights on FOX. That change is expected to take place in October of 2019.
The network’s flagship program, “Monday Night RAW” will remain unchanged. According to reports, the WWE and NBC Universal were nearing a deal to keep it on USA Network (owned by NBC Universal) with a substantial increase for the WWE. That jump — the deal for “RAW” is said to be in the neighborhood of $400 million per year — made it difficult for NBC to justify keeping both shows, thus opening the door for FOX to get into the game.
All of this comes amid the recent news that FOX and ESPN were teaming up for the UFC TV rights.
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