WWE’s deal with NBC Universal is expected to end in September 2019, and a decision on where the company goes is expected to occur later this year. While early reports suggested FOX was gunning for WWE’s programming, the latest details a drastically different story.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, USA Network is planning to keep Monday Night Raw, paying as much as three times its current value. Due to the heavy increase in price, NBC Universal is reportedly not re-signing its deal to carry WWE’s Smackdown. The report goes on to note that FOX is a speculated home for the Tuesday night program.
WWE’s Chief Financial Officer George Barrios noted the company is not against splitting the shows up yet again, per Wrestling Inc:
“Market determines that opportunity. From our end, [we don’t think] it’s an issue to split it,” said Barrios. “We have done it before. We think we’re pretty good at promoting and moving our viewers from one platform to another. Seven or eight years ago, it was only from one network to another network, which changed dramatically. We can’t over-emphasize it, is the nature of social and digital and helping do that.
“So, we’ve been able to do it before, we would feel even more comfortable doing it today just because we have a direct connection with all our fans which we did not have seven or eight years ago. So, our ability to do that, if it made sense economically, there were partners interested, if we felt comfortable with the partners in question, operationally we would not see an issue with doing that.”