SmackDown Live Possibly Leaving The USA Network Soon

WWE Champion A.J. Styles on Smackdown Live

SmackDown Live Possibly Leaving The USA Network Soon

The last time WWE negotiated a new rights deal in 2014, the company chose to re-sign with NBC Universal to continue airing Raw and SmackDown on USA Network and SyFy respectively. Michael McCarthy of Sporting News had previously reported that if the deal went through, RAW would be featured on FOX, while Smackdown would be aired on FOX Sports (FS1). It was also on MyNetworkTV and the Syfy Network before moving to US in 2016. However, in order to make that financial commitment, United States of America is expected to allow WWE to shop SmackDown Live to other networks in order to defray the inflated expense of airing WWE's signature Monday night show.

Monday Night Raw has only aired on two networks in its 25-year history.

Still, broadcasters have questioned whether there is a ceiling for sports rights.

"Market determines that opportunity".

"From our end, [we don't think] it's an issue to split it", said WWE chief financial officer George Barrios earlier this week when asked about the shows airing on differrent networks.

If it makes sense from an economical standpoint, and there is interest among different companies, then it is something that the WWE will consider. NBCUniversal is expected to pay as much as three times the current deal for Raw, which airs on USA Network. Stay tuned for updates.

While that sounds like a problem for WWE, it's more of an embarassment of riches.

Hollywood Reporter Editorial Director Matthew Belloni posted information Wednesday indicating that Smackdown Live could be done on the USA Network, while Raw is sticking around at triple the price they're now making.

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