The Disturbing Truth Behind WWE's FOX TV Deal

$1 billion in the contract doesn't necessarily mean $1 billion in the bank...


26 June 2018 saw WWE and FOX announced a five-year partnership that would see Vince McMahon's promotion bring SmackDown to the network for a cool $205 million per year, making it worth at least $1.25 billion in total.

Per Dave Meltzer in the 2 July 2018 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 2020 would see WWE's new FOX and USA Network TV deals combine to generate $435 million of revenue, which would be an increase of roughly 85% on 2018. Total company-wide revenue should exceed $1 billion in 2020. By 2019's end, WWE expect to reach $200 million OIBDA, doubling their all-time profit number. This figure would then be "blown away" the following year, all as a result of these insane television contracts.

These are just phenomenal numbers. There's no better way of saying it.

The FOX deal is already reaping benefits beyond the balance sheet as well, with WWE advertisements all over the last few weeks of NFL games. They're going all-on promoting SmackDown's big move with three shows dedicated to hyping the big debut. If this deal fails, and it shouldn't, then it won't be down to ineffective marketing or a lack of effort.

That's fortunate. For WWE, the cost of failure would be severe...


Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.