WWE finalizes media rights with over $800 million a year in guaranteed revenue
After months of speculations, WWE has finalized their media rights for all their three main shows: Raw, Smackdown, and NXT.
Predictions went out of the window for this one, and while one was expected to end up where it did, two certainly came in as a major surprise.
Smackdown was announced first as moving back to cable television after five years on network. FOX, who did not bid for the show, will lose Smackdown in October 2024 and the show moves to USA Network, with WWE continuing their relationship with NBCUniversal for a few more years to come.
NXT is moving out of cable television and on to network, with the developmental brand jumping from USA Network and on to The CW Network. The CW is now back with a WWE show for the first time in 15 years.
And last and certainly not least, for the first time in 31 years, Raw will be off linear television and heading to streaming. Netflix will be the new home of Raw in many countries and a major shift which will certainly have others follow suit in years to come.
WWE is getting $1.4 billion for five years for Smackdown on USA Network while $5 billion for 10 years for Raw on Netflix. The deal for NXT is not known but it’s believed to be just under $200 million for five years, giving WWE a yearly fee of over $800 million guaranteed just for television rights.