Big sports opportunity for another network. Belloni also said that the deal to keep Raw was for 3-times their current value so WWE management must be thrilled with that.
But now it looks like SmackDown Live will have to find a new home, as The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that NBCUniversal declined to re-up their deal with WWE for SmackDown, and the show is now being shopped to various different networks.
- WWE could be seeing its shows split between networks as it works to negotiate new television deals, according to a new report.
WWE's deal with USA / NBC expires on September 30, 2019, and they are now in an exclusive negotiating period with each other until the end of this spring.
The belief was that WWE could end up on FOX and if that did happen then Monday Night Raw would go to FOX while SmackDown Live would go to FOX Sports 1.
Reportedly, NBCUniversal paid $30 million for the rights to Smackdown Live in 2010, but the deal in 2019 would have been way more expensive. It marked the first time that the top three shows were broadcast on the same network. The show began airing that year on Syfy, with corporate sibling United States of America heavily promoting it. SmackDown moved full time to U.S. in January 2016, as the cable network home to Mr. Robot and The Sinneraired all three WWE shows: SmackDown, Raw and Tough Enough. The show now garners the sixth-biggest audience among cable originals.
Rumors surfaced earlier this year that Fox Sports could be a good candidate to broadcast WWE shows in the near future. But UFC linear television rights are still being shopped by Endeavor, which purchased UFC in 2016 for $4 billion as part of its push into content ownership.
Mets put Yoenis Cespedes on DL, return uncertain
The infielder opened the year with the team and had three at-bats before being sent down in which he went 0-3 with a strikeout. Phillip Evans has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and will start in left field against Toronto on Wednesday.