The WWE confirms domestic rights deals with USA & Fox Sports, SmackDown moving to Fridays in 2019

Originally published at

On Tuesday, World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed the previously reported domestic television rights deals with the USA Network and Fox Sports.

The company confirmed that both Raw and SmackDown Live has entered into five-year agreements with Raw remaining on the USA Network, while SmackDown Live will be moving from the USA Network and will air Friday nights on the Fox broadcast network. Both deals will go into effect on October 1st, 2019, at the expiration of the WWE’s existing domestic rights deal with NBC Universal for both programs.

The Hollywood Reporter had previously reported that Fox had secured the rights to SmackDown Live with a five-year deal worth $205 million per year and $1.025 billion over the length of the contract. They added that Raw was retained by the USA Network with a hefty increase to approximately $265 million per year and bringing the value of the two deals to $2.35 billion over the five-year period.

The company also confirmed that SmackDown will remain as a live program when it shifts to Friday nights and will premiere on the Fox network on October 4th, 2019.

Since the news of the pending deals was reported, the WWE’s stock has skyrocketed to record highs and closed on Tuesday at $66.62.

The WWE will host a conference call Wednesday morning at 8 am Eastern, hosted by company co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson to discuss the deals.

LOL but but ratings.

Fox really doesn’t care about what they put on Friday nights so unless smackdown does under 2.0 on a regular basis fox will be happy with the deal.

Have anybody delved into the details of the (seemingly) impending Walt Disney Co. purchase of 21st Century Fox as far as where the television rights to Smackdown would ultimately land?

1 Like

Separate entities, Fox Sports is not part of the acquisitions


On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to acquire 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion after the spin-off of certain businesses; this will include key assets such as 20th Century Fox, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, its regional sports networks, and its international networks. Assets such as the Fox television network, Fox News, and most of Fox Sports will be spun off into a new company owned by current 21st Century Fox shareholders. Following a competing bid by Comcast, Disney raised its bid to $71.3 billion.