Smackdown is set to return to the USA Network as part of a new five-year agreement between the WWE and NBCUniversal.
The TKO Group released a press release earlier this morning announcing a five-year U.S. television deal with NBCUniversal that will bring Smackdown to the USA Network beginning in October 2024.
As many are aware, since 2019 Friday Night Smackdown has aired on Fox TV. NBCUniversal has been in business with WWE for many decades. This deal shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The instant thought is as of right now, Raw and NXT still run on USA, but what does the future hold for them? No deal is set for them as yet, so it appears both shows will be hitting the market for a new home.
Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that the market for the program is “extremely active,” Meaning there shouldn’t be a problem finding a new home for both Raw and NXT.
It is interesting though, since this announcement, TKO Group Holdings Inc. stock has dropped significantly, per the Wall Street Business Journal. That will likely change once TKO finds a new home for “Monday Night Raw” and “NXT” within the next several months.
Pro wrestling is as big as it’s ever been and there is a strong appetite for live content for both AEW and WWE. Media companies such as Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery are reportedly looking for programming to fill their streaming services. I’d keep an eye open for both of them and also Discovery’s Max. They announced earlier this week plans to add live sports to its service as well. I fully expect these three companies to engage in talks with WWE and AEW to get a deal done before the end of the year as we look to 2024.
While change can make us all timid, this will be huge for the landscape of pro wrestling moving forward. Both WWE and AEW are thriving right now, and there is no reason they couldn’t continue to do so. WWE is looking for a new home for two shows, meanwhile, AEW continues to lure a streaming deal like WWE has with Peacock.