WWE’s popular “SmackDown Live” program on the USA Network is reportedly headed from the USA Network to Fox in a deal worth over $1 billion — $205 million per year for five years. Plans call for Fox to begin airing the show in October 2019.
USA owner NBC Universal has focused instead on retaining its license for “WWE Raw.” That deal could reportedly be worth some $400 million per year to Stamford-based WWE, which currently makes about $80 million per year from the program. Fox has also expressed interest in “Raw,” although NBC is expected to do everything it can to keep the show on USA.
Fueled by the speculation, WWE’s stock finished last week above $50 for the first time in its history.