In a surprising turn of events, WWE is potentially considering relocating its flagship show, Raw, from its iconic Monday night slot. Negotiations over media rights have stirred speculation about a major reshuffle in WWE’s programming schedule, with significant implications for the wrestling world.
The wrestling giant recently confirmed that SmackDown is set to make its return to the USA Network, commencing in October 2024. This significant five-year deal, brokered between TKO Group and NBC Universal, also includes the production of four specials per year for NBC primetime. Nick Khan, WWE’s president, has hinted that SmackDown will continue to air on Friday nights.
The real shocker lies in the implications for Raw and NXT, both currently airing on the USA Network on Monday and Tuesday. Reports from The Hollywood Reporter suggest that, in light of SmackDown’s transition to the network, Raw and NXT may be heading elsewhere.
The market for Raw is described as “extremely active,” with various traditional linear networks, streaming services, and even “unexpected players” expressing interest. This development marks a potential shift of monumental proportions in WWE’s broadcasting landscape.
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Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor and TKO Group, offered further insights during the Bloomberg Screentime Conference. He emphasized the extraordinary appeal of WWE Raw, UFC, and NBA rights, which are set to become available. Notably, WWE’s unique year-round format sets it apart from traditional sports. The absence of seasonal scheduling allows for greater flexibility, ensuring a constant presence in the viewers’ world.
Raw has been a fixture on Monday nights for nearly 31 years, making this potential shift a momentous decision in WWE’s history. Over the years, WWE has graced screens on various days of the week, but Raw’s Monday night legacy remains unparalleled.
The wrestling universe is brimming with anticipation and intrigue as these negotiations unfold, leaving fans and industry experts guessing about the future of Raw’s iconic Monday night slot.
WWE’s potential move of its flagship show, Raw, from its iconic Monday night slot has sent shockwaves through the wrestling world. Negotiations regarding media rights have raised speculation of a major reshuffling in WWE’s programming schedule.
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The confirmation of SmackDown’s return to the USA Network in October 2024, as part of a significant five-year deal, is a pivotal factor in these discussions. With the prospect of SmackDown remaining on Friday nights, the fate of Raw and NXT, which currently air on the USA Network on Monday and Tuesday, hangs in the balance.
Reports indicate that various networks, streaming services, and unexpected players have expressed interest in acquiring the rights to Raw, marking a potential shift of monumental proportions in WWE’s broadcasting landscape. The legacy of Raw’s Monday night presence for nearly 31 years adds to the intrigue and anticipation surrounding these negotiations. The wrestling world eagerly awaits further developments that will shape the future of Raw’s iconic Monday night slot.