Disney and Amazon are the current favorites to attain the TV rights to Friday Night SmackDown.
Despite it looking likely RAW and NXT will end up remaining on USA, albeit with a more lucrative payout for WWE, SmackDown’s landing spot is anything but certain at the time of this writing.
The Friday night show currently resides on FOX, but the exclusive negotiating period for FOX has ended and now, WWE will be fielding offers from all major networks and streaming services.
During Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer spoke about WWE’s current television rights deals.
“Something else also, when Garrett and I were talking on Friday about Disney being interested in SmackDown on Friday. The belief is that Raw and NXT will probably stay with USA although WWE is looking for a huge increase in price for both of those shows, especially Raw, obviously from 465 to 700 [million]. As far as SmackDown goes, time will tell. There’s a feeling that FOX is not going to go for the 300, which is what WWE is trying to get out of Smackdown or more, and that Disney and Amazon are probably the two companies most in contention for it. And if it’s Disney, I brought up ABC or probably FX.”
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that it could be on ABC, but ABC on Fridays, they have had 2020 and Shark Tank, which is actually a pretty highly rated show. And even though it’s not as highly rated as Smackdown most weeks now, I mean, it was before, but lately, it has not been. It still fetches higher ad rates for ABC than Smackdown would. So because of that, it doesn’t necessarily make the most sense for ABC, even though Smackdown has been absolutely killing it. When it comes to Friday night network television, for them to necessarily make that change, I hadn’t really heard people talking about it on ABC, just the possibility that it could be. The other thing, too, is they could change nights.”Dave Meltzer
We will have to wait and see who will hold the rights to the SmackDown TV rights in just a few weeks, as Endeavor have officially took control of WWE as of today.
H/T to Ringside News