In a significant shakeup of pro wrestling programming, WWE SmackDown will leave Fox and jump to USA Network, beginning in October 2024. In addition, the WWE will produce four primetime specials per year, which will air in primetime on the NBC broadcast network.
SmackDown will debut on USA beginning in Oct. 2024, with the NBC specials beginning in the 2024-2025 broadcast season. The new TV deal is for five years.
The Friday night program currently airs on Fox, its TV home since 2019.
The news was announced Thursday morning by the WWE, which earlier this month merged with the UFC to form a new company called TKO Group Holdings.
NBCUniversal, which owns both USA and NBC, has been in business with the WWE for decades, with the wrestling promotion’s Monday Night Raw franchise debuting on USA in 1993. Raw still runs on USA, as does NXT, the WWE’s development program. NBCU’s Peacock is also the streaming home of WWE’s signature events, including Wrestlemania.
While the new deal will bring WWE to NBC primetime and SmackDown to USA on Friday nights, it will also mean the end of Raw and NXT on USA.
A source familiar with the Raw discussions tell The Hollywood Reporter that the market for the program is “extremely active,” with traditional linear networks, streaming services and “unexpected players” all interested.
Raw was the top scripted program on cable Monday nights this past TV season.
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