WWE SmackDown Set For TV Bidding War?

A new home for SmackDown Live?

WWE.com

WWE Raw looks set to remain on the USA Network after the company's current set of TV rights expire in September 2019, but the same can't be said for SmackDown.

This is according to a new write-up from The Hollywood Reporter, who state that NBCUniversal are keen to retain Raw in a deal that could close at up to three times the currently contract's value, but will let SmackDown go to open bidding.

WWE and NBCU both declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations. Fox has been speculated as a new home for SmackDown, though this should be taken with a hint of cynicism.

NBCU have held the rights to SmackDown since 2010, paying a reported $30 million for the franchise. Initially airing on SyFy, they moved SD to USA full time in January 2016, but while it currently boasts the sixth biggest audience among original cable shows, the blue brand will likely be ditched in favour of keeping Raw.

WWE spokeswoman Annie Kruger told Sporting News in March that the company intended on unveiling their new TV partners sometime between May and September. An announcement could therefore be imminent, but for now, it's all speculative.

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