WWE has gotten a huge increase in rights fee to get SmackDown back to USA Network.
The WWE TV rights renewal has been a topic of interest in wrestling circles. After WWE completed their merger with UFC under TKO group holdings, it was expected that they would be using the combined resources to get the best deal for their shows.
The company announced one of the deals today. They confirmed that SmackDown will be leaving Fox and returning to USA Network when their current contract with the network expires in October 2024.
WWE SmackDown Makes Big Jump
The announcement naturally triggered curiosity among fans about the financials of this deal. Wall Street Journal provided some insight on the same, revealing that WWE is getting a massive 40% increase in rights fee:
“People familiar with the pact valued it at roughly $1.4 billion, which is about a 40% increase over the deal WWE had with Fox.”
WWE did not announce the future of Raw and NXT leading to conflicting reports about the two shows. Some journalists believe that NBCUniversal will replace the two shows with SmackDown to manage costs.
NBCUniversal however also has a streaming deal that gives Peacock the exclusive streaming rights of all WWE content in the US. Renewing the current deals for Raw and NXT will give the network more control over the produced content.