Fox made a "massive" offer for WWE's SmackDown Live.
WWE's SmackDown Live is reportedly headed to Fox.
According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, Fox came to WWE with a "massive" offer to acquire the rights to air the weekly show. Although the terms of the deal have not yet been announced, Rovell notes that the deal will begin in October 2019, bringing to an end SmackDown's run on NBC Universal networks that started in October of 2010.
As first reported by the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, NBC Universal declined its right of first refusal to hit the numbers that WWE proposed on "SmackDown." NBC instead focused its efforts on "Monday Night Raw."
With live TV viewed as a prized commodity in the era of DVR and on-demand and "SmackDown Live" straddling the worlds of scripted and sports TV, Fox greatly valued the opportunity to pursue one of WWE's signature programs.
"SmackDown Live," which airs on Tuesdays, has averaged 2.59 million viewers per week in 2018, while "Raw" has averaged about 3 million viewers.
According to The Wrap, Fox plans to air SmackDown Live on Friday nights at 8pm ET. There had been rumors that the show could expand to three hours, similar to its Monday night counterpart, but it appears the show will stick with the two-hour format. It remains to be seen whether the broadcast will air on Fox's main channel or Fox Sports 1.