WWE to talk with other networks as no new deal is reached with NBC Universal
WWE TV shows could be moving to a new home as Variety is reporting that both WWE and NBC Universal have “stepped away from the negotiating table” with no deal in place to keep RAW and Smackdown on USA Network and SyFy respectively.
“WWE’s exclusive negotiating period with NBCU for our flagship television programs, ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown,’ has now expired,” WWE said in a statement. “While we were unable to reach an agreement with NBCU during this period, we have certainly appreciated our long and productive partnership. With year-round, live programming that is highly coveted by programmers, distributors and advertisers, we are extremely excited about our future. We look forward to engaging with potential partners who recognize the value of having the #1 show on cable and live content delivered 52 weeks a year.”
The exclusive window expired on February 15 and WWE can now talk with other networks such as Viacom, Discovery, Fox, and others. NBC Universal can still match whatever offer WWE receives from other networks as part of the original agreement to keep the shows.
Currently WWE receives around $140 million in licensing fees and the plan is to at least double up on that money. Variety reports that WWE is interested in either put all the shows on one network or else split them up.
If WWE decides to move to a new home, both RAW and Smackdown will continue to air on USA and SyFy until September 30 of this year.