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.'

Courtesy of USA Network

While the pro wrestling giants have geared much of their business towards the importance of WWE Network, the weekly Raw and SmackDown programs are still of huge significance to the company.

Hollywood Reporter Editorial Director Matthew Belloni posted information Wednesday indicating that Smackdown Live could be done on the USA Network, while Raw is sticking around at triple the price they're now making. Belloni also said that the deal to keep Raw was for 3-times their current value so WWE management must be thrilled with that.

THR reports that NBCUniversal is focusing on renewing Raw and as a result, Smackdown is being shopped to various networks.

NBCU and WWE declined to comment on the negotiations, which are still-ongoing.

It's been speculated that the show could end up on FOX.

NBCUni snagged the rights to SmackDown back in 2010. SmackDown started airing live in May 2016, increasing the value for advertising during the wrestling show.

WWE's television contract is expiring in 2019 with the USA Network.

This won't be the first time both Raw and Smackdown will be on different TV channels as the shows were separated in the early '00s.

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". By airing on broadcast television every week, WWE could be motivated to stack SmackDown as much as possible.

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