WWE Raw Likely To Stay On USA Network

WWE Raw Likely To Stay On USA Network

Michael McCarthy of Sporting News had previously reported that if the deal went through, RAW would be featured on FOX, while Smackdown would be aired on FOX Sports (FS1).

WWE Raw will reportedly be staying with NBC Universal. They added that Fox is a potential suitor for Smackdown, a network that had been rumored for months for Raw as well.

WWE and NBCU both declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations.

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According to Matthew Beloni, Editorial Director of The Hollywood Reporter, Raw would be remaining on the USA Network and getting as much as three times its current rate from the cable network, but NBC intends to let SmackDown Live go.

NBCUni snagged the rights to SmackDown back in 2010. SmackDown started airing live in May 2016, increasing the value for advertising during the wrestling show. At the time, US aired five hours of live WWE programming a week; WWE programming now airs two nights a week on USA.

If WWE increases their revenue for Raw and manages to land a good contract for SmackDown Live, then that will be a major financial boost for the company - not that they need it. WWE programming is an obvious fit for the "new Fox" focused on sports and live events and SmackDown could anchor Fox programming on Tuesday nights. As such, WWE would potentially want to tailor SmackDown Live for a new demographic, which in turn could mean Raw and SmackDown Live adopting identities specific to their respective networks.

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