Fox becomes new home of WWE Smackdown.
WWE has officially announced new tv deals for their weekly flagship programs, "Monday Night Raw" and "Smackdown Live," with USA Network and Fox Sports. As part of the new deal, Raw will remain on USA but Smackdown is headed to Fox, where it will now air on Friday nights as opposed to its current Tuesday evening slot.
“At FOX we are thrilled to welcome WWE to the FOX Sports family and bring SmackDown LIVE to broadcast television,” said Eric Shanks, President, COO and Executive Producer FOX Sports. “We are huge fans and know that together FOX Sports will be the leader in live events for the foreseeable future.”
“WWE and FOX are a perfect match,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “Moving SmackDown LIVE to broadcast TV and having the ability to leverage FOX’s extensive portfolio of world-class sporting events will expand the reach of our flagship programming.”
According to MarketWatch, the five-year deal with Comcast's NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox will more than triple the annual value of WWE's U.S. distribution rights, increasing it by 3.6 times. WWE did not specify how much the contract is worth, but they did reveal that core content revenue is expected to grow about $331 million in 2019 and $462 million by 2021, up from roughly $235 million in 2018.
Smackdown Live will begin airing on Fox starting Friday, October 4, 2019 as part of the new five-year agreement.