FOX and WWE have a fine deal that has the SmackDown brand locked onto their network for a considerable amount of time. The season could be coming to shop around and see what other interest there is out there.

Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston recently spoke to Wrestling Inc where he broke down WWE President Nick Khan’s “coded message” during WWE’s investors’ call. He said that the wording Khan used gives a big reason to believe that WWE will soon see if Apple TV or Amazon might be interested in the blue brand.

“I think the biggest takeaway is the hype that he added around the idea that Amazon and Apple might get into bidding for live sports rights. So I read that as a coded message to FOX. ‘We’re going to shop SmackDown somewhat aggressively when the deal comes up to be renegotiated. That’ll probably start to be renegotiated late next year 2022, and if previous rounds of negotiation are any indication, they’ll announce the deal maybe the spring of 2023. So it sounds like Nick Khan is saying, ‘We’re going to be really interested in negotiating and trying to get the best value possible for SmackDown'”

“I think Raw stays with NBCUniversal just because of how deep the relationship is between WWE and NBCUniversal with Raw, NXT and reality programming. But I think there’s a good chance that WWE will shop around SmackDown and maybe it goes to FOX, but maybe it goes to Amazon or Apple, who are among the biggest companies in the world and can certainly afford to pay a great deal of money if they’re looking to invest further in their streaming services (Prime and Apple TV) to get ahead in this competitive streaming space.”

WWE is always looking to secure the best deal possible. Moving to Apple TV or Amazon might hurt their overall viewership, but if the money is there then that is all they need to worry about.

We’ll have to se where SmackDown ends up next. They certainly need to focus on bringing up those viewership numbers while they can so they can be as attractive as possible during what could be some intense contract talks.

Felix Upton

Felix Upton has been writing professionally since 1989. His first writing job was penning advertisements for local newspapers around New York. After selling his grandfather’s pinball repair shop back in 2017, he was hired on for publish news for Ringside News.

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