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WWE News: WWE's CFO discusses Raw and SmackDown airing on different company's networks

Could Raw be on FOX and SmackDown be on USA?

FEATURED WRITER
News 16 May 2018, 22:31 IST
1.83K

The land
The likelihood of Raw and SmackDown airing on two different company's networks is high with today's television climate

What's the story?

Wrestling Inc. is reporting on a recent appearance that WWE's Chief Financial Officer, George Barrios, made at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Conference this week.

During the conference, Barrios discussed the possibility of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live airing on two different networks owned by two different companies.

In case you didn't know...

Monday Night Raw has only aired on two networks in its 25-year history. It started on USA Network in 1993 until moving to TNN / Spike TV in 2000, before returning to USA in 2005.

SmackDown Live has been on a few more networks. It debuted on the broadcast television network UPN in 1999, before moving to the CW Network in 2006. It was also on MyNetworkTV and the Syfy Network before moving to USA in 2016.

The heart of the matter

With the rumors that FOX is looking to acquire the WWE, one of the topics that Barrios brought up was could WWE programming exist within networks of two separate companies.

The example of a comparison that was used was the NFL, where FOX, NBC, and ESPN all have the rights to broadcast games live.

Barrios would expand on that notion in the quote below:

"Market determines that opportunity. From our end, [we don't think] it's an issue to split it," said Barrios. "We have done it before. We think we're pretty good at promoting and moving our viewers from one platform to another. Seven or eight years ago, it was only from one network to another network, which changed dramatically. We can't over-emphasize it, is the nature of social and digital and helping do that.

Barrios stated that the WWE would feel more "comfortable" having their programming with different companies today because of the direct connection that they have with the WWE Universe.

If it makes sense from an economical standpoint, and there is interest among different companies, then it is something that the WWE will consider.

What's next?

With the current television deal with NBC Universal ending at the end of September 2019, we may be close to an official announcement of any changes that may occur with where you are able to watch WWE programming starting next fall.

Stay tuned to Sportskeeda for any future details.

Author's take

Considering Vince McMahon is very familiar with professional football and their ties to networks, it wouldn't surprise me that he takes a page from the NFL and spreads the WWE to different companies to generate more revenue.

Over the past few months, it's looked very likely that the WWE would be working with FOX, then with the NBC Upfront presentation earlier this week, it looked more likely that the WWE would stay with NBC Universal.

Now that Barrios is talking about working with more than one company, I wouldn't be surprised if Raw is on FOX and SmackDown remains on USA Network next fall.

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