Breaking WWE News: SmackDown Live will move to FOX in a "massive deal"
ESPN's sports business reporter Darren Rovell has just confirmed on Monday morning that SmackDown Live will be moving to FOX starting in October 2019. According to Rovell's report, WWE has agreed "in principle" to make the broadcast network the new home of their Tuesday night live television program.
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At the time of this writing, any other details outside of the start date were not made available between FOX and the WWE. Representatives for the WWE declined to comment; while no one at FOX was available to be reached for comment.
The Hollywood Reporter announced on Thursday that NBC Universal declined their right of first refusal to accept the terms the WWE presented and instead wanted to focus their efforts on retaining Monday Night Raw on the USA Network.
Sportskeeda reported back in March that FOX executives and television personalities attended SmackDown Live. The next day on Speak For Yourself, Colin Cowherd would tease to his co-host Jason Whitlock that the WWE was "coming to a network near you soon."
The video below is a commercial that ran in 2016 to promote SmackDown Live's move to Tuesday.
According to Rovell's report, SmackDown Live has averaged 2.58 million viewers for 2018 so far; while Monday Night Raw is right at 3 million.
The USA Network has been home for SmackDown Live since January 7, 2016, when it moved to Tuesday and became a live show permanently for the first time since the show debuted in August 1999.
With SmackDown Live being two hours, it fits into their primetime schedule perfectly as the local FOX News affiliates air their local news an hour earlier than most networks at 10:00 P.M. Eastern.
It'll be interesting to see if any other WWE programming will move over to the FOX family of networks such as their 24-hour sports network FOX Sports 1. Stay tuned to Sportskeeda for further details.