NBC

WWE getting massive TV money from FOX, USA Network for 'SmackDown Live' and 'Monday Night Raw.'

By Jimmy Traina
June 27, 2018

1. A lot of people think broadcast television isn't as valuable as it used to be, but the people who run WWE, namely Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, clearly don't buy into that narrative.

The news we've known about for a long time became official yesterday, with FOX and the WWE agreeing to a five-year deal for the broadcast network to air SmackDown Live. The WWE also announced Tuesday that they signed a five-year deal with USA Network to remain the home of Monday Night Raw

According to the Hollywood Reporter, FOX is paying WWE $205 millon per year, meaning the overall deal is for $1.025 billion. USA Network will fork over $265 million per year for Monday Night Raw after paying $150 millon per year for both shows. To put this in perspective, NBC pays $200 million a year to air the NHL.

Say what you want about Vince McMahon and his family, but when it comes to business, it's not hyperbole to call them geniuses. The wrestling business ebbs and flows, experiences high points and low points, but one thing remains: The McMahons printing money.

"WWE and FOX are a perfect match,” said Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and chief executive. “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.” 

What does that mean for you, the sports fan? You will be seeing a lot of promotion and possibly cross-promtion of SmackDown Live during FOX's coverage of the NFL, college football, MLB and college basketball. USA Network hardly promoted Raw and SmackDown, so the WWE has a great opportunity here to expose itself to many new audiences.

It will be interesting to see if FOX and WWE want to really have some fun with this partnership. They could have Mike Pereira appear on an episode of SmackDown Live to analyze the WWE refs. Erin Andrews could do sideline reporting for an episode. How about using Jimmy Johnson as a manager one week? And, of course, Gus Johnson as a guest commentator, would be the ultimate. The possilbilties are endless.

The first episode of SmackDown Live on FOX will air Oct. 4, 2019.

2. We're getting closer to The Decision 3.0, so this is a good time to watch the highlights from LeBron James's remarkable 2017-2018 season.

3. Sports Illustrated's annual "Where Are They Now" issue is out and Sammy Sosa is the subject of the cover story.

4. They've done all right for themselves.

5. This is unacceptable. It appears that High Noon co-host Pablo Torre has never seen Coming to America. He claims he may have seen it once or twice, but he did not seem believable at all and his partner Bomani Jones rightfully shamed him.

6. Matt Harvey's time in New York ended after poor pitching and stories about his hard-partying way. While pitching for the Reds last night against the Braves, Atlanta's organist tried to mock the right-handed starter about these things.

7. RANDOM "HEATED INTERVIEW" VIDEO OF THE DAY: I've always felt this Larry Merchant-Floyd Mayweather exchange didn't get its proper due.

Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here.And make sure to listen to and subscribe to the SI Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina.

IN CLOSING: A new SI Media Podcast with Jim Miller drops early Thursday morning. And if you're a wrestling fan, you will love next week's show with Jim Cornette. If you're not a subscriber, hit that link right above.

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