SmackDown Live Possibly Leaving The USA Network Soon

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The company's current contract with NBC Universal will come to an end in 2019 and the WWE is now in a negotiation period to determine where their programming ends up. It was noted that SmackDown has been speculated to move to FOX.

As for Smackdown, WWE is shopping it around to other networks after NBCU declined to renew the deal for the show.

It looks like SmackDown Live could be leaving USA Network sooner than later because of the fact Raw is such a large property.

It has been long rumored that FOX had been looking to acquire both WWE RAW and WWE Smackdown once the wrestling company's current contract expires.

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The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni reports that NBC Universal is letting SmackDown Live go up for open bidding. SmackDown started airing live in May 2016, increasing the value for advertising during the wrestling show. It first aired on SyFy before moving to US in 2016. At the time, United States of America aired five hours of live WWE programming a week; WWE programming now airs two nights a week on USA. The show now garners the sixth-biggest audience among cable originals.

Fox this year inked a massive five-year, $550 million annual deal for rights to the NFL's Thursday Night Football as the broadcast network begins to focus on sports and news.

WWE chief financial officer George Barrios earlier this week when asked about Raw and Smackdown airing on differrent networks. Throughout much of its existence, SmackDown has been seen as secondary to Raw, no matter how much WWE would do to present the two shows as equal.

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