WWE’s New Television Contracts Update
As noted before, WWE is reported to have agreed in principle to new television contracts with both NBC and FOX. The deal with NBC is rumored to be around $300 million per year for RAW while the deal with FOX is reported to be around $205 million per year for SmackDown’s new home network.
In an update to this situation, the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Newsletter that the combined value of WWE’s new television contracts is in the range of $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion over the course of five years. Both of these new contracts take effect on the same starting date of October 1, 2019 and expire on the same date of September 30, 2024.
Meltzer also reported FOX offered around $240 million to $270 million per year for the broadcasting rights to RAW prior to WWE agreeing to a deal with NBC to keep the show on USA Network.
In regards to changes for the WWE, WrestleMania week was reported to already be affected due to WWE’s Hall of Fame ceremony will no longer be able to air on Friday after next year’s event. WWE was reported to be considering the options of pushing the ceremony back a day to Thursday or have the ceremony take over Smackdown’s current weekly Tuesday spot.
In regards to competition with indies, Meltzer reported NJPW and MLW will be affected the most from WWE’s new SmackDown deal due to AXS TV’s weekly NJPW show and MLW Fusion airing at the same starting time on Fridays as SmackDown will be starting late next year. Meltzer also reported there were some initial concerns from ROH that the WWE would push FOX to make SmackDown the exclusive wrestling show on all of FOX’s affiliate stations currently carrying ROH’s weekly ROH TV show.