In June 2018, WWE and FOX announced a five-year deal that would bring SmackDown to the FOX Network.
The deal was reportedly worth over a billion dollars and SmackDown begin airing live every Friday on the Network in October 2019.
According to Freddie Prinze Jr on his podcast Wrestling With Freddie, WWE was interested in a larger deal than just putting SmackDown on FOX.
"I was talking to a dude who was interviewing to be their COO or the dude they wanted to interview. They ended up going with Nick Khan, [my friend] had passed, [he] just wanted to talk to me about the company. We were talking about the brand and he goes, 'they wanted us to buy the whole product.' He was an executive at FOX. 'They wanted us to buy the whole brand, but the number they wanted wasn't a number we were going to pay, so we licensed SmackDown instead.' I said, 'Were you even considering the job?' 'No, I just wanted to talk to you and make sure I wasn't crazy and losing my mind.' 'It's a crazy place to work. You have a nice job in LA, your family is in LA, stay in LA.' I knew they were going to sell a long time ago off that and that hit me like a ton of bricks," said FPJ.
Nick Khan was hired by WWE to be the President of the company in August 2020.
Freddie Prinze Jr worked as a writer at WWE in 2008 until early 2009.
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