FOX Sports is reportedly prepared to make a major push to get the WWE TV broadcast rights, and the deal could include airing RAW on FOX’s broadcast channel.
According to the report by Michael McCarthy of Sporting News, RAW would be featured on FOX, while Smackdown would be aired on FOX Sports (FS1). It was noted that FOX just won the rights to NFL Thursday Night Football, and a deal with WWE would likely mean the end of the network’s relationship with UFC, as their contract expires this year.
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Sources speaking with Sporting News cited WWE and UFC’s likely rights fee being another reason for the change, as it was said both companies are looking for up to $400 million per year. It was noted that FOX would likely pay that money for WWE; UFC currently nets $120 million a year for their current rights.
WWE’s deal with USA expires on Sept. 30, 2019, and they are currently in an exclusive negotiating period with each other until this spring. WWE spokeswoman Annie Kruger declined to comment to Sporting News about any ongoing negotiations besides noting WWE’s US television partner will be announced between May and September.