WWE 'Smackdown' Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Pin Down 'Raw'

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As noted, WWE and NBC Universal are reportedly close to finalizing a deal that would keep RAW on the USA Network. While early reports suggested FOX was gunning for WWE's programming, the latest details a drastically different story.

WWE Raw looks set to remain on the USA Network after the company's current set of TV rights expire in September 2019, but the same can't be said for SmackDown. According to those same sources, the "House that (WWE Champion) A.J. Styles Built" is going to be left up for open bidding by other networks.

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SmackDown Live has been airing on USA Network since July 2016, but it has been under the NBCU umbrella dating back to its Syfy days in 2010. Fox has been speculated as a new home for SmackDown, though this should be taken with a hint of cynicism. We think we're pretty good at promoting and moving our viewers from one platform to another. Michael McCarthy of Sporting News had previously reported that if the deal went through, RAW would be featured on FOX, while Smackdown would be aired on FOX Sports (FS1). This also means that WWE Raw will probably continue to be three hours long.

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