FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch Talks WWE Smackdown TV Rights
The CEO of FOX has commented on WWE Smackdown TV rights by saying he hopes the management team of WWE stays intact.
In October 2019, WWE Smackdown moved back to Friday nights because of a lucrative billion-dollar deal with FOX that lasts for five years until October 2024. Prior to that, Smackdown was on Thursday nights, then Friday nights, it was moved to Tuesday nights as a live show in 2016 and it’s been live on Fridays since October 2019 on FOX.
One of the biggest stories regarding WWE to start 2023 is regarding the potential sale. Executive Vice Chairman Vince McMahon has been negotiating with companies about potentially buying WWE ahead of their TV rights for Raw & Smackdown expiring in October 2024. There’s also a possibility that won’t be sold at all and maybe they will just do what they’ve done in the past with TV contracts for their main TV shows.
While speaking at a Morgan Stanley Investors Conference, FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch noted that FOX is ready to talk with WWE about TV rights whenever they are ready.
“They have been great partners. They’ve been great partners throughout our relationship. If they ultimately sell the business, I hope the acquirer will be as great as they’ve been. I hope the management team stays intact there. They’ve done a tremendous job. From a rights point of view, we’re focused on the rights renewal.”
“We haven’t engaged with them on the rights yet, we’re ready to engage with them when they ask and they’re ready. Ultimately, our appetite for renewal depends on what happens with the rest of our sports portfolio.”