Woah! We have some Universe-shattering developments going on with the WWE right now.
The sports entertainment giant has reached a five-year deal with NBCUniversal to air ‘Friday Night SmackDown’ on USA Network, beginning next year in October, according to a Thursday WWE press release.
The release also states the promotion will create four yearly primetime specials that will broadcast on NBC starting in the 2024-25 season.
WWE and NBCUniversal’s agreement also means SmackDown’s run on Fox will be coming to an end. SmackDown has been airing on the channel since 2019.
Currently airing on USA Network, both ‘Monday Night Raw’ and ‘NXT’ could be headed to new broadcasters as a result of the new deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Weprin. The expectation is when SmackDown starts airing on USA next year, Raw and NXT will no longer be carried on the network.
Weprin is also reporting a source with knowledge of the negotiations told him WWE is currently shopping the rights to Raw, with an “extremely active” market of interested entities, which features television networks, streaming platforms and “unexpected players.”
.@WWE and @NBCUniversal have agreed to a five-year domestic media rights partnership that will bring #SmackDown back to @USANetwork beginning October 2024. WWE will also produce four primetime specials per year that will air on NBC. @WSJ, @JBFlinthttps://t.co/MtBJgrZCaJ
— WWE Public Relations (@WWEPR) September 21, 2023
Along with the major TV announcement, WWE has also reportedly made a ton of roster cuts (via ComicBook.com):
- Dolph Ziggler
- Riddick Moss
- Shelton Benjamin
- Top Dolla
- Mustafa Ali
- Rick Boogs
I’ll continue to update this list if any other talent gets released (which is expected), so be sure to stay with the Daily Caller for developments.
Live look at Tony Khan after the WWE releases 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/VotNraQLI3
— Dorby Allen (@DorbyAllen) September 21, 2023
Man, I’m loving everything that’s going on with WWE right now.
When TKO first took over the former Vince McMahon-led organization (though I feel that man still has a lot of power, which is fine with me), I wasn’t really sure what to expect — though I was hopeful. And since then, they’ve done nothing but make me happy.
They’ve reportedly signed Jade Cargill, have clear plans for the television consumer and are dropping dead waste talent, three great beginning steps that make me feel like WWE is in good hands. And with all of these rumors floating around about new members of The Bloodline, I’ve got a good feeling TKO is going to give us that too. (RELATED: AEW’s Jade Cargill Headed To WWE In Massive Move: REPORT)
And then I’m like … what else?
I think we’re in for some entertaining times, WWE Universe. Some glorious, glorious times.