WWE officially announced what had been widely reported on for the last month: SmackDown will be moving to Fox in October of 2019, while Raw will remain on the USA Network.
The company put out a press release today officially announcing the five-year agreement. SmackDown will air on Fridays starting on October 4, 2019 on the FOX network. It will remain a two-hour broadcast.
“WWE and FOX are a perfect match,” Vince McMahon said. “Moving SmackDown LIVE to broadcast TV and having the ability to leverage FOX’s extensive portfolio of world-class sporting events will expand the reach of our flagship programming.”
Meanwhile, WWE concurrently announced that Monday Night Raw will continue on the USA Network in what is also a five-year deal with NBC Universal. It will start in October 2019.
“Monday Night Raw and USA Network have dominated Monday nights during a truly historic run,” Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable was quoted as saying.“Our partnership with WWE is one of the strongest and most successful in the business, and together we’ll take Raw to even greater heights.”
These agreements increase the average annual value (AAV) of WWE’s U.S. distribution to 3.6 times that of the prior deal with NBCU.