NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule

Sources say the franchise will now go to open bidding as NBCU will keep 'Raw.'

While early reports suggested FOX was gunning for WWE's programming, the latest details a drastically different story.

HollywoodReporter.com reports that NBCU is paying almost three times the current rate for Raw, but it will allow Smackdown to enter opening bidding.

The main thing WWE needs to agree on is that Smackdown Live needs to air preferably on Tuesday nights in order for the show to stay being "live". 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. Initially airing on SyFy, they moved SD to US full time in January 2016, but while it now boasts the sixth biggest audience among original cable shows, the blue brand will likely be ditched in favour of keeping Raw.

From our end, [we don't think] it's an issue to split it. Seven or eight years ago, it was only from one network to another network, which changed dramatically.

Reportedly, NBCUniversal paid $30 million for the rights to Smackdown Live in 2010, but the deal in 2019 would have been way more expensive. This also means that WWE Raw will probably continue to be three hours long.

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