Over the past few months, the WWE has been working on a possible deal with FOX. The idea has been that, should the two sides agree on the terms, Monday Night Raw would appear on FOX while Smackdown Live would be on FS1. However, with the WWE seemingly working out a new deal with NBCUniversal, it looks like Raw won’t be going anywhere. That doesn’t mean the same for Smackdown, though.
According to Variety, NBC Universal and WWE are working on a deal which would be worth three times what they’re currently working with to air Monday Night Raw. On Thursday, WWE’s stock rose 15.4% which might have caused NBC to look at the company in a new light.
It speculated that the new deal could be worth $400 million a year. However, NBC will not be renewing their deal for Smackdown Live. So where will the Blue Brand go?
Well, for right now, there are three front-runners for Smackdown. FOX is still ahead and is still working towards acquiring the rights for the show. However, it looks like both Amazon and Facebook are fighting for the chance to run Smackdown Live through their streaming services.
The WWE worked with Facebook earlier this year on the Mixed Match Challenge, a weekly tournament featuring mixed tag teams which was shown on Facebook Live. While the first episode generated around 35 million engagements, there was a steady decline in viewership, which made certain WWE officials unhappy.
With cord-cutting becoming more and more popular, getting Smackdown Live on something like Amazon or other streaming services like Hulu or Netflix might not be a terrible idea. WWE’s shows are already on Hulu, but they’re edited down quite a bit. Giving one of these sites the rights to stream the show live could bring those services new customers.
What do you think? Could this be a big step for the WWE, or would moving Smackdown online be the downfall for the Blue Brand? Let us know below.