WWE was in talks with a lot of people when it came to their new television rights. There was lot of question when it came to SmackDown, and now we know that they will be moving off FOX, but they will be going somewhere very familiar to pro wrestling fans.

WWE is in the middle of television rights deals. The thought was that FOX was distancing themselves from the company, after they cut their WWE related podcast, and dialed down their social media activity. Now, we know that USA Network will step up as home of the blue brand for the next half a decade.

WWE sent out a press release today, informing everyone that they have inked a 5-year deal with USA Network for SmackDown.

STAMFORD, Conn., Sep. 21, 2023 – WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO), and NBCUniversal have agreed to a five-year domestic media rights partnership that will bring Friday Night SmackDown back to USA Network beginning October 2024. Additionally, beginning in the 2024/25 season, WWE will produce four primetime specials per year that will air on NBC, marking the first time WWE will air on the network in primetime.


SmackDown will come exclusively to NBCU as one of television’s longest-running programs, regularly rating as the No. 1 show in the 18-49 advertising demographic on Friday nights and featuring many WWE Superstars including John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Rey Mysterio.

WWE President Nick Khan opened up about this big deal. He has been a part of some historic business moves for WWE, and he can’t wait to see how the next five years pan out with SmackDown on the USA Network.

“NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades. We are excited to extend this longstanding relationship by bringing SmackDown to USA Network on Friday nights and look forward to debuting multiple WWE special events annually on NBC.”

Frances Berwick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment also provided a quote with the release. He relayed the idea that it is a privilege to be a part of the kind of television that WWE brings to fans every week. After all, USA Network and WWE have a long-stranding relationship that goes back decades.

“It’s a privilege and thrill to continue NBCU’s decades-long partnership with WWE which has helped cement USA Network’s consistent position as the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership. With Friday nights on USA, primetime specials on NBC, and the WWE hub on Peacock, we’ll continue to use the power of our portfolio to super-serve this passionate fanbase.”

As part of WWE and NBCUniversal’s long-standing relationship, USA Network currently airs WWE NXT and WWE Monday Night Raw, which ranks as the #2 cable entertainment program in the 18-49 demo for 2023. Both WWE NXT (up by 27%) and WWE Monday Night Raw (up by 15%) have shown substantial year-over-year growth in the target demographic. USA Network will continue to broadcast WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE NXT through September 2024.

Since 2021, Peacock has exclusively hosted WWE Network in the U.S. Peacock subscribers have access to an extensive library of on-demand WWE content, including original series, documentaries, classic shows from the WWE archives, and premium live events like WrestleMania, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, Summer Slam, and more. WWE’s presence on the platform has driven significant user engagement, with this April’s WrestleMania 39 livestream marking a record-breaking weekend for Peacock as it achieved its highest weekend usage to date.

This is a big deal, as many fans wondered if Amazon Prime or ABC might be options. Now they know that they only need the USA Network from this point on, at least for the next five years, to watch WWE programming.

This announcement did not mention RAW, but the SmackDown move is a huge deal. Now the blue brand is going to the USA Network.

What’s your take on his new move? Sound off in the comments!

Tags: WWE Featured
Felix Upton

Felix Upton is a seasoned writer with over 30 years of experience. He began his career writing advertisements for local newspapers in New York before transitioning to publishing news for Ringside News. His expertise includes writing, editing, research, photo editing, and video editing. In his free time, he enjoys bungee jumping and learning extinct languages.

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