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SmackDown to remain live on Fox

SmackDown Live

Although the deal hasn't been officially announced, news about WWE SmackDown's move to Fox in the fall of 2019 continues to come out.

Industry publication The Wrap reported Wednesday that the show will indeed remain live when it moves to Friday nights on the network.

As previously reported, Fox's deal with WWE for the Blue Brand is rumored to be five years and just north of $1 billion. That would pair with NBCUniversal's rumored five year, $265 million renewal of Raw reported by the Hollywood Reporter, bringing WWE's new TV contract haul to $2.35 billion over five years.

In related news, the Hollywood Reporter ran a story Wednesday detailing the behind-the-scenes negotiations on how the Fox deal came together. Sources told THR that NBCU was expecting to keep Raw and SmackDown for $360 million over 10 years.

There were many interesting details in the the pro-WWE story including the following paragraph:

"The elder Murdoch insisted NBCU was "embarrassed by your product." Fox, he said, would fully embrace WWE, with SmackDown promos airing across sports programming every night of the week, along with a weekly studio show on FS1. More than that, the deal, Lachlan Murdoch told McMahon during a private call at the end of the meeting, would herald the marriage of the Murdochs and the McMahons, rebel outsiders who had built media empires. (McMahon's father, Vince, took over WWE from his father in the '80s.)"

And then, this:

""We could not sell UFC" at Fox, says a former staffer. "And wrestling is family friendly. If you have wrestling you can find cash. I think it's a big win for Fox; it's a great trade-off."