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June 4, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: More details on Raw and Smackdown TV deals, more

The Hollywood Reporter ran a story this week detailing the negotiations that ended up with WWE getting an average of $470 million annual television rights deal between Raw remaining on the USA Network and Smackdown moving to Friday’s on FOX for the next five years.

The figures listed were, over the five years of the deal, an average of $265 million for the three hour Raw and $205 million from FOX. At this point these deals are just about finalized, but haven’t been signed.

The UFC’s deal with ESPN was signed on 5/23, and the press release was reported sent out “as the ink was drying” and the story on the deal that broke on 5/22 was actually before the deal was finalized.

With the WWE contracts having annual price escalators, that means those actual numbers would hit in the third year of the two deals, with it being a little lower the first two years, about that level in year three, well above in years four and five.

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