The WWE Smackdown division is headed to Fox, per Darren Rovell of ESPN, in what is being described as a massive television deal.
The Hollywood Reporter has since reported Smackdown’s deal to air Friday nights on Fox is a monumental five-year, $1 billion deal that will see WWE make $205 million per year. The Wrap has noted the show will move to Friday nights on the Fox broadcast network. It has not been officially confirmed whether Smackdown Live will air on Fox or FS1, but news of Smackdown’s high-profile move could reinvigorate and legitimize WWE’s brand split.
Such positive news in the business world of WWE has become par for the course as WWE’s stock, which hit a record-high of $59.45 per share on Monday, continues to rise in historical fashion.
Last week, it was reported by the Hollywood Reporter that WWE was closing in on a deal to keep Raw on the USA Network and re-sign with NBCUniversal.
The deal to air Raw exclusively is expected to be worth three times the current deal for the show, which Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter estimates could be in the $240 million range for Raw alone.
Though NBCUniversal passed on Smackdown Live, this said more about the high price tag for WWE’s Tuesday night flagship than it did about how much NBCUniversal valued the blue brand as WWE was able to find two suitors willing to pay a hefty price tag for each show.
When all is said and done, WWE could come out of both television deals with around $400 million in television rights fees for both Raw and Smackdown.