WWE and Fox Sports agreed to a five-year deal worth $1 billion dollars which would send Smackdown Live to the Fox Network starting in October 2019, according to Wrestling Inc.
Jonathan Coachman recently spoke with Busted Open Radio, where the Coach said that his work at ESPN was, not only helpful to the WWE but was one of the main reasons that the WWE got their deal with Fox Sports.
I knew if I wanted to do more than just ESPN, that this was a good way to help and to help facilitate. I got into fights, I pushed the envelope, and I got four other guys to help me and we called them ‘Coach’s Group.’ We just got given credit by the president of the company to Wall Street for helping facilitate this Fox deal so they took our content that we did every single week on SportsCenter.
Then we got stuff into SportsCenter every single week. They took that content they took it to Fox. They had meetings with ESPN and said listen, after the shock value of the few people who called in saying ‘I can’t believe they’re having wrestling content on our beloved SportsCenter.’ After that shock value wore off they came to it in droves.
They started an entire website that still lives today. Because of that and I’m not saying it’s the entire reason, but it’s a big part of the reason that his billion-dollar deal was done. Because Fox executives looked at what we did at ESPN and said, ‘imagine if you had a partner instead of just a platform.’
H/T to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.