WWE 'Smackdown' Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Pin Down 'Raw'

Sources say the franchise will now go to open bidding as NBCU will keep 'Raw.'

WWE's deal with USA / NBC expires on September 30, 2019, and they are now in an exclusive negotiating period with each other until the end of this spring.

WWE's television future took an interesting turn on Wednesday, as NBCUniversal reportedly declined to re-up its current deal for SmackDown Live in an attempt to keep Monday Night Raw. NBCU is said to be focusing on renewing its pact for WWE's Raw, another wrestling franchise, and that deal is expected to close at as much as three times its current value.

Fox has emerged as one of the potential buyers as the network expressed its interest in acquiring the rights to Raw and SmackDown last March, per Michael McCarthy of Sporting News.

NBCU have held the rights to SmackDown since 2010, paying a reported $30 million for the franchise.

TV rights is a huge revenue earner for the WWE, so it's unlikely WWE just wants to put Smackdown on its own WWE Network. Thus, WWE will have to find a new home for SmackDown Live.

For now, it looks like a bidding war is happening for Smackdown Live and the highest bid will finally get the show from next year onward.

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