Sports Illustrated reporter Richard Deitsch wrote last night that two FOX Sports executives – Eric Shanks, the President, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Producer and Jacob Ullman, Senior Vice President, Production and Talent Development – were sitting at ringside for Smackdown Live in Los Angeles. Joining them was sports media personality Colin Cowherd, the host of The Herd on FOX Sports 1.
The three could be seen enjoying the show during the Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin match when the action spilled outside and they were seated on the hard camera side so they were not visible all the time during the broadcast.
FOX is currently weighing the possibility of bidding for WWE programming and snapping it away from NBCUniversal. Execs from both companies have held talks over the past few months but there is no formal bid yet. NBCUniversal have the right to make the first offer and then match any other offer to retain WWE programming.
WWE is expected to start negotiations for a bigger television deal in the next month or so. Whatever happens, Raw and Smackdown cannot move from USA Network until Fall of 2019 when the current contract expires.