New WWE SmackDown Media Rights Deal Worth $1.4 Billion
WWE have agreed a new media rights deal for SmackDown worth $1.4 billion
WWE have come to terms on a new media rights deal for their Friday Night SmackDown show, with the show set to move from FOX to NBCUniversal’s USA Network in a deal worth $1.4 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The new deal was announced on September 21 and marks the first piece of major business conducted by WWE after officially aligning with UFC under the TKO Group umbrella. The new deal is believed to be for five years, with SmackDown returning to USA for the first time since 2019. The deal will also see WWE produce four prime-time specials a year to air on USA sister network NBC.
Whilst the nature of these proposed prime-time specials hasn’t been revealed, WWE have a history of producing such content for NBC, with the iconic Saturday Night’s Main Event specials airing on the network during the 1980s ‘Rock ’n’ Wrestling’ era boom, and a brief return on the network from 2006 until 2008.
WWE President Nick Khan said the following about WWE’s relationship with NBCUniversal in a press release:
“NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades. We are excited to extend this longstanding relationship by bringing ‘SmackDown’ to USA Network on Friday nights and look forward to debuting multiple WWE special events annually on NBC,” said Khan.
WWE currently airs Raw on USA every Monday, with the rights for the long-running flagship show set to expire in 2024.