WWE News: WWE Confirms New TV Deal with USA Network and FOX
What's the Story?
After months of speculation and rumors regarding WWE's new TV deal, the company has confirmed the news of Raw and SmackDown's fate going forward.
Monday Night Raw will remain on USA Network while SmackDown Live will move to Friday nights on the FOX broadcast network in 2019.
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In Case You Didn't Know
The TV contracts for Raw and SmackDown became a major discussion point as the company entered the negotiation period for their TV contracts.
The belief amongst many was that WWE would remain exclusive to the USA Network, but news broke earlier this year reporting the possibility of SmackDown being moved to another network.
The Heart of the Matter
WWE confirmed the news through The Business Wire and sent them the following press release:
STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced that it has completed landmark agreements with USA Network and Fox Sports, effective October 1, 2019, for the U.S. distribution of WWE’s flagship programs Raw and SmackDown. As part of these five-year agreements, Monday Night Raw will continue to air on USA Network; and Fox Sports will distribute SmackDown Live each Friday on Fox broadcast network. These agreements increase the average annual value (AAV) of WWE’s U.S. distribution to 3.6 times that of the prior deal with NBCU.
The press release also included information regarding the WWE's increase in revenue from their "Key Content Agreements" between their seven largest TV agreements which resulted in a revenue increase from $130 million in 2014 to their current approximation of $235 million.
However, with their new TV deal in place, the company projects that their revenue could increase to $462 million by the year 2021 and could even grow to $542 million if further negotiations work out in their favor.
Many have argued that ratings don't matter, but their new contract with USA Network and FOX has made their TV Numbers their biggest priority.
The move to FOX for SmackDown Live won't take place for over a year, but the effect it will have on the rosters of both shows will be what many fans will look out for.
What do you think about this new deal for the WWE? Sound off your opinion in the comments section below!