WWE is in the middle of new television rights talks, and things are moving as fast as they can. SmackDown may leave FOX, and that could open the door for new partnerships. There are apparently two big front-runners in this situation.
We previously reported that USA Network is likely to keep RAW and NXT. That should make fans happy if they don’t like change. The same is not true for SmackDown, because word is that FOX is distancing themselves from the blue brand and WWE altogether.
During Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer spoke about WWE’s current television rights deals. It was stated that Amazon and Disney are both in talks with WWE, while would see SmackDown move to Amazon Prime or ABC.
“Something else also, when Garrett and I were talking on Friday about Disney being interested in SmackDown on Friday. The belief is that Raw and NXT will probably stay with USA although WWE is looking for a huge increase in price for both of those shows, especially Raw, obviously from 465 to 700 [million]. As far as SmackDown goes, time will tell. There’s a feeling that FOX is not going to go for the 300, which is what WWE is trying to get out of Smackdown or more, and that Disney and Amazon are probably the two companies most in contention for it. And if it’s Disney, I brought up ABC or probably FX.”
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that it could be on ABC, but ABC on Fridays, they have had 2020 and Shark Tank, which is actually a pretty highly rated show. And even though it’s not as highly rated as Smackdown most weeks now, I mean, it was before, but lately, it has not been. It still fetches higher ad rates for ABC than Smackdown would. So because of that, it doesn’t necessarily make the most sense for ABC, even though Smackdown has been absolutely killing it. When it comes to Friday night network television, for them to necessarily make that change, I hadn’t really heard people talking about it on ABC, just the possibility that it could be. The other thing, too, is they could change nights.”
Disney and Amazon would both be good homes for SmackDown. After all, things might be moving Amazon’s direction, because Triple H was recently spotted with Jeff Bezos.
WWE has a well-documented history of landing big television deals. As their business increases, their asking price is going up even more. Only time will tell where SmackDown lands when their television deals come around, but they will certainly pull down a huge amount of money in the process.
What’s your take on WWE moving SmackDown to ABC or Amazon Prime? Sound off in the comments to let us know what you think!
September 12, 2023 8:50 am