A month ago, it was reported that FOX had inked a deal with WWE for the SmackDown franchise at a record $1 billion for 5 years ($205 million approx. annually). The sum is way above what WWE is currently getting for both Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live combined as part of its existing deal with NBCUniversal. The WWE-FOX deal will commence on October 4, 2019.
Now, WWE has officially announced FOX as the new home of SmackDown Live.
Here’s a titbit from WWE’s press release:
NEW YORK & STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For the first time, every Friday night beginning October 4, 2019, FOX broadcast network will air WWE®’s flagship program SmackDown Live as part of a new five-year agreement with FOX Sports. The weekly, two-hour live event will air 52 weeks a year and captivate fans with a unique combination of edge-of-your-seat action, unpredictable drama and world-class athleticism.
“At FOX we are thrilled to welcome WWE to the FOX Sports family and bring SmackDown Live to broadcast television,” said Eric Shanks, President, COO and Executive Producer FOX Sports. “We are huge fans and know that together FOX Sports will be the leader in live events for the foreseeable future.”
“WWE and FOX are a perfect match,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “Moving SmackDown Live to broadcast TV and having the ability to leverage FOX’s extensive portfolio of world-class sporting events will expand the reach of our flagship programming.”