WWE had previously announced their new partnership with FOX back in 2018. The billion-dollar deal implied that Friday Night SmackDown would be available to millions of new homes as an over-the-air broadcast. FOX had no problem spending huge money to secure the rights to the blue brand. The network has faith in the WWE product and the network made a huge investment to bring a show to their Friday night lineup with a proven history as a ratings draw. Executives believed WWE could turn around a normally dead zone for television viewership. It was also previously noted that WWE Smackdown lost an important TV deal.
Freddie Prinze Jr. opens up on the deal
Freddie Prinze Jr. recently claimed that WWE wanted Fox to take an even bigger piece of the pie. The actor-turned-wrestling writer said that an executive from Fox told him WWE wanted the media giant to buy the entire brand. Prinze broke the news on his Wrestling with Freddie podcast.
“I was talking to a dude who was interviewing to be their COO or the dude they wanted to interview. They ended up going with Nick Khan, [my friend] had passed, [he] just wanted to talk to me about the company. We were talking about the brand and he goes, ‘They wanted us to buy the whole product.’
He was an executive at FOX. ‘They wanted us to buy the whole brand, but the number they wanted wasn’t a number we were going to pay, so we licensed SmackDown instead.’ I said, ‘Were you even considering the job?’ ‘No, I just wanted to talk to you and make sure I wasn’t crazy and losing my mind.’ ‘It’s a crazy place to work. You have a nice job in LA, your family is in LA, stay in LA.’ I knew they were going to sell a long time ago off that and that hit me like a ton of bricks.”