ESPN.COM is reporting that WWE has agreed in principle to move Smackdown Live to FOX after sources say that the network made a “massive” offer to grab the rights of the show.
Representatives from both WWE and FOX declined to comment for the story and the actual terms of the deal are not known at this time. Smackdown will continue to air on USA Network until Fall 2019 and will move to FOX in October next year.
Smackdown’s 2017 viewership increased over the year 2016 with the show drawing an average of 2,546,000, up from 2,419,000 average in 2016.
The blue-brand show has been airing on USA Network since January 7, 2016 after spending five years on SyFy. Prior to that, the show aired on network television on UPN, The CW, and MyNetworkTV. It’s not known if Smackdown would air on FOX or on FOX Sports 1.
Since FOX is available on over-the-air network, anyone with an antenna is able to reach the channel. FOX Sports 1 is available in 83 million homes compared to USA Network which is in 92 million homes.