Could WWE really be moving Raw off Monday nights?
WWE has been in negotiations over their media rights for some time and it looked like SmackDown’s home on FOX could be in some jeopardy. Now WWE has confirmed in a press release that SmackDown is heading back to the USA Network.
The release states that TKO Group and NBC Universal have agreed to a new five-year deal that will see SmackDown return to the USA Network beginning in October 2024. The deal will also see the company produce four specials a year for NBC primetime. Nick Khan has indicated that the move of station will continue to see SmackDown air on Friday nights.
The rights for Raw and NXT which currently air on the USA Network on Monday and Tuesday are believed to also be up in September 2024. The Hollywood Reporter has reported that as a result of SmackDown joining the network, Raw and NXT are on their way out:
“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.”
Ari Emanuel opens the door for WWE Raw move
At the Bloomberg Screentime Conference, Endeavor and TKO Group CEO Ari Emanuel
“We got a 40 percent increase for SmackDown. We have Raw which is the number one package available. There’s three rights coming available to market. Three big rights: WWE Raw, UFC, NBA. We are involved in two of them.
“There’s six buyers, plus I would say WWE Network which is up in ‘26. I think I’m saying that — maybe ‘25, ‘26. So, you cannot undervalue the WWE and UFC for the following reasons: One, we do not have a season. One of the biggest issues that will happen with s-mods and networks is churn. We’re 52 weeks a year, right? And we’re flexible.
“You want us Thursday night? You want us Tuesday night? I don’t have any of those scheduling issues and that churn issue because we’re the full year.
“It’s so much different than any other sport because then people churn out. That’s one of the issues with sports. Not in a bad way… and then the package is over and then you leave. We do not have that. Our fans are loyal, they stick around and they move.”
Raw has aired on Monday nights regularly for the entirety of its nearly 31-year history. Over the years the company has aired programming on every other night of the week.