Smackdown Reportedly Being Shopped as NBCUniversal Focuses On Keeping Raw

Smackdown Reportedly Being Shopped as NBCUniversal Focuses On Keeping Raw

While splitting up Raw and SmackDown Live would disrupt the continuity WWE has enjoyed with having both on USA Network, a move could be beneficial. The sports entertainment company held numerous same meetings before their last TV negotiations a few years ago. However, in order to make that financial commitment, US 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. It turns out they are keeping Raw on their networks but due to the fact Raw is worth so much they're not going to keep the Blue Brand around.

If a new report is to be believed, WWE is cashing in big on WWE Monday Night Raw, and will be looking to do the same for Tuesday's Smackdown Live - but the latter likely won't be on the USA Network. Thus, WWE will have to find a new home for SmackDown Live. "From our end, [we don't think] it's an issue to split it", said Barrios.

Raw debuted on USA Network on January 11, 1993, and ran weekly until leaving in September 2000 for TNN, which later became Spike TV.

According to Belloni, WWE and NBCUniversal are working on a TV rights deal for Raw that would triple the value of their current contract, so NBCUniversal would then allow SmackDown Live to go to the highest bidder.

Considering Vince McMahon is very familiar with professional football and their ties to networks, it wouldn't surprise me that he takes a page from the NFL and spreads the WWE to different companies to generate more revenue. Fox has been speculated as a home for SmackDown, sources say. It debuted on the broadcast television network UPN in 1999, before moving to the CW Network in 2006.