Report: WWE Reaches Deal With Fox To Air Smackdown In 2019, Worth $1 Billion, Maybe Moving To Fridays

Smackdown may have a new home next year.

As reported by ESPN, Fox and WWE have reached a "massive" deal to air Smackdown. WWE has been looking for a new network to air both Smackdown and Raw and there had been talks of NBC Universal holding onto both but according to the report NBCU is focused on Monday Night Raw.

Even though ratings for Smackdown have been declining since the Superstar Shakeup, WWE programming is nearly always in the top five cable original shows year round on Monday and Tuesdays. The live aspect and sports related nature of Smackdown has helped support those ratings and is only pushed down the rankings by live sports playoffs.

The report said the Smackdown deal is set to begin in October of 2019.

In another report by The Wrap, it was said Smackdown would be broadcast on Fridays and on Fox instead of the rumored Fox Sports.

That was hardly the last of the news, as The Hollywood Reporter would later report that the deal in question was a five-year agreement worth over $1 billion. WWE's stock hit an all-time high on Monday after news of the possible move broke.

Smackdown has been on five networks since it debuted on UPN in 1999 but has not been on a Fox owned network in the past. Raw has only ever been on Spike TV (also known as TNN) and USA Network. Smackdown has appeared on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during its run, but has been live for the duration of their Tuesday night airings.

Fightful Wrestling has live coverage and a recapping podcast each week for Smackdown and a move to Fox would not affect the coverage.

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