Financially the WWE has had a banner week. Yesterday news broke that the pro wrestling company was zeroing in on a TV deal that would pay them upwards of $400 million a year for the right to broadcast Monday night Raw.
Today (May 17) analysts are projecting what WWE’s potential new TV deal means for SmackDown and who may be in the race to land the rights for the Tuesday night series.
A new report from Variety’s Kristopher Tapley had some interesting tidbits about the WWE’s big day on the stock market and at negotiating table for their new TV deal. The story focused on how the SmackDownbrand is now becoming an huge asset for the WWE in the latest round of media rights talks.
“We think ‘SmackDown’ is due for a big raise as well, and likely still viewed as a bargain for several players reportedly interested,” said Eric Katz, senior analyst for Wells Fargo.
Frontrunning contenders for “SmackDown” rights include Fox, Facebook and Amazon. With the recent news that Fox will be sharing Ultimate Fighting Championship rights with ESPN, a few holes could open up in its scheduling that would present a great fit for WWE’s programming.”
“One option open to “SmackDown” is moving from a two- to three-hour format akin to “Raw.” That would obviously inflate the show’s advertising potential, which might even be an enticing lure for suitors. The smaller two-hour bite is more appealing to fans, but a deeper breath would allow the brand to broaden its storytelling spotlight to include some of its underutilized talents.”
There is a scenario where the WWE runs a near five hour pay-per-view on Sunday night, followed by a three hour Raw on Monday and its all piggybacked by a three hour SmackDown on Tuesday night.
3 hour Smackdown