Report: FOX Want 'Exclusivity' On WWE Talent
The current cross-brand appearances by certain stars may be a temporary arrangement
Whilst the WWE brand split may seem somewhat trivial to wrestling fans, it is vitally important to TV networks, with those that exclusively air Raw or SmackDown looking to have the biggest stars on their networks and not be seen as an afterthought by WWE.
This idea has seen WWE’s biggest stars evenly distributed across both shows for the most part, although the likes of WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns has been appearing on both Raw and SmackDown as of late, but it seems this arrangement may be temporary.
During a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, it was reported that FOX in particular wants ‘exclusivity’ on certain WWE talents, and that these cross-promotional appearances are likely not the norm going forward:
“Both networks kind of want unique rosters. You can do some of that back-and-forth but really FOX, in particular, really wants kind of exclusivity on its guys,” said Dave Meltzer.
From a business standpoint it makes sense, with FOX shelling out a reported $1billion to air SmackDown over a five-year deal, it’s understandable that they’d want some reassurances with regards to IP and star power, and would not want 'their talents' like Reigns appearing on rival networks.