WWE Raw reportedly staying with NBCU, Smackdown's future undecided

WWE 'Smackdown' Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Pin Down 'Raw'
Breaking News: Big Update On The WWE RAW & SmackDown TV Deals
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17 May, 2018

The company's current contract with NBC Universal will come to an end in 2019 and the WWE is now in a negotiation period to determine where their programming ends up.

Interesting tidbit among all the TV news today: NBCU is letting WWE SMACKDOWN go to open bidding. They added that Fox is a potential suitor for Smackdown, a network that had been rumored for months for Raw as well. 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.

According to a report by the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, NBC Universal is looking to bring back WWE Raw at a hefty increase while declining to re-up WWE Smackdown, allowing the company to shop the Tuesday night staple around to other media outlets.

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Reportedly, NBCUniversal paid $30 million for the rights to Smackdown Live in 2010, but the deal in 2019 would have been way more expensive. In addition to Raw and Smackdown, WWE produces Main Event and Superstars for their streaming Network service. This also means that WWE Raw will probably continue to be three hours long.

WWE have stated they would announce their new TV deal between May and September 2018, so there's no telling when official confirmation will be made by the company.

For this latest cycle, early reports indicate that WWE's outlook could be very, very different.


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