WWE SmackDown Live Reportedly Heading To A New Network

WWE SmackDown Live Reportedly Heading To A New Network

WWE's current deal with NBCU expires on September 30, 2019.

Hollywood Reporter Editorial Director Matthew Belloni posted information Wednesday indicating that Smackdown Live could be done on the USA Network, while Raw is sticking around at triple the price they're now making.

With television rights for live sports and entertainment in a boom period, it had always been reported that WWE planned to cash in when its contract with NBCUniversal, which presently airs both Raw on Monday nights and SmackDown Live on Tuesday nights, expires in 2019.

Belloni reported NBCUniversal is allowing WWE Smackdown Live to go to open bidding, but RAW would remain with the network. Fox has been speculated as a home for SmackDown, sources say.

NBCU took over the rights for SmackDown in 2010, and started airing the show on SyFy before moving it to USA Network in 2016.

Monday Night Raw has only aired on two networks in its 25-year history. SmackDown has only aired on U.S. for about two years, moving over on January 7, 2016. Fox secured the rights to Thursday Night Football this year for a huge five-year, $550 million deal, and Fox is expected to invest heavily in live sports programming as it divests itself of its sister production company 21st Century Fox Television in Fox's sale with Disney. The show now garners the sixth-biggest audience among cable originals.

And if it is Raw on US and SmackDown on Fox broadcast television, the question then might become whether WWE decides to elevate SmackDown to being the unofficial "A" show.