OT: WWE Smackdown Inks Fox Deal worth 1 Billion dollars

REPORT: NEW WWE SMACKDOWN DEAL WORTH ONE BILLION DOLLARS (NOT A TYPO)
By Mike Johnson on 2018-05-21 14:00:00
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the WWE's deal with FOX to bring Smackdown Live there starting October 2019 is a five year pact worth one billion (with a capital "B") dollars.

That would work out to $205 million per year and is thee times more than the company was getting for the series on the USA Network. USA Network will be retaining Monday Night Raw, according to reports.

The Wrap is reporting the Smackdown series will be moving to Fridays, which given the amount of money that is being thrown around, pretty much means the company is going live on Fridays.

Say you want about Professional Wrestling, but Vincent Kennedy McMahon knows business and how to make money.

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Say you want about Professional Wrestling, but Vincent Kennedy McMahon knows business and how to make money.

I'm gonna vote for him in 2020

Chem PhD '16

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Chem PhD '16

People appearing on Smackdown are 1/1 in Presidential Elections and 1/1 in Gubernatorial Elections. Just saying.....

Say you want about Professional Wrestling, but Vincent Kennedy McMahon knows business and how to make money.

And to think they said an ECU degree wouldn't get you anywhere

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

A good friend of mine from Virginia Tech's, father, was roommates with Vince at ECU. He told me that Vince is every bit the person that you see on TV. That along with a few other stories.

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Make fun of me if you want, but as a WWE fan, this is awesome. Smackdown was basically dead around 2 years back. They brought some import talent in in the form of AJ Styles, let some of their super talented "B" squad run wild, and they overtook RAW, the flagship show.

Then, a lot of the talent was siphoned off to RAW, and really overshadowed by the format of the show (3 hours long vs 2 hours, had a lot of part time talent like Brock Lesnar and Undertaker, killed a lot of upstart talent and made them job out). Smackdown still had some interesting characters and was doing more with less. If Smackdown is on FOX, during primetime, this would force more of the A talent onto Smackdown which has had way better writing over the last 2 ish years.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

It's fake

The matches are already determined but the wrestlers still have to do wrestling moves which can hurt so get that argument out of my face

Spiral out. Keep going

There is always that guy....

Call it fake all you want, the WWE just made 1 Billion off of a fake sport.

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Fits right in with Fox.

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Wrastlin > Wrestling, change my mind

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Apples > Oranges. Change my mind.

You can like both. They are totally different things.

WARNING: Video is questionably safe for work.

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Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Unlike ESPN, Fox actually gets what it takes to bring in ratings.... content. I am not a fan of wrestling but this is a better move than having 2 people yell/tack back each other shows, get up (awful), etc. The only sportscenter/show ESPN I like is ESPN gameday (football mainly) and Scott Van Pelt's midnight show.

It's not the personalities/people on the show, its always going to be content.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Are you ignoring the live sports that ESPN airs

Chem PhD '16

Wait-you mean to say that $EC$PN still shows actual factual sports!?!?

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

obviously that's a given, but the fillers in between, their content isn't very good imo. the ratings, recent layoffs, and dropping subscribers would support this.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I'm not trying to say that ESPN has great filler content, but Fox Sports has Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe yelling back and forth at each other, so is that really any better than ESPN's programming? And if you're comparing ESPN to network Fox, why? Are you suggesting that ESPN should have swung a billion dollar deal to air WWE to improve their programming?

Chem PhD '16

Yes the Skip and Sharpe show is a knock off but I think they as network is trending up vs, ESPN with the recent acquisitions of Thursday Night Football and WWE. I don't have any hate towards towards ESPN, I just find it interesting how they are losing a lot of content/contracts to FOX recently.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Fox is having to P A Y for those rights, and it's often for personalities or products that don't meet ESPN's price point. I think ESPN is making at least some decent moves with heading towards more streaming options moving forward. See recent deal to stream UFC events on ESPN+.

Is it really worth it for a sports network to pay a billion dollars for something people know is scripted? Feats of athleticism notwithstanding.

Chem PhD '16

I understand that... got to pay to play.

I have always shit-canned WWE or anybody that tries to fool me that it isn't scripted but that following isn't going away anytime soon imo. Especially when you have mainstream athletes like Ronda Rousey and Gronk toying with the idea of going over there.

Also, I don't think ESPN+ will work with asking people to pay $5+/month for it. Maybe I am wrong with the rights to some of the UFC fights but all the other content isn't unique or it is just smaller revenue sports with not much of a following. Most other sport streams or channels that you can stream are free with internet connection.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Speaking of ESPN and UFC, the worldwide leader announced a 5 year, $1.5B deal to air 10 UFC main events per year live.

Edit: also includes 20 streaming 20 events via ESPN+

Chem PhD '16

ESPN really hasn't "lost" a lot to Fox. Most of the people that have moved to Fox did so after being laid off by ESPN. It's not like Fox came headhunting and lured them away when their contract was up.

As for actual sports, the only major loss I can think of is flipflopping on the Big Ten rights, where now Fox has first choice of games.

But also keep in mind that TNF and WWE are going to the Fox broadcast network, not FS1, which is ESPN's direct competitor.

But also keep in mind that TNF and WWE are going to the Fox broadcast network, not FS1, which is ESPN's direct competitor.

Ehhhhh.... I wouldn't go that far. Disney owns ESPN and ABC, so regardless of where this comes on, it would still be in competition with ESPN's parent. What I'm curious about is how this would be handled through the potential Disney acquisition of FOX, and whether this would be considered a part of that purchase, or separate because it airs on the network channel, and if it is a part of it, how much of the typical 'WWE-ness' of that programming that Disney is willing to stomach going forward, or will they take a hatchet out and neuter it to become more family friendly?

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

You must not watch a ton of current WWE. They call it the "PG era" for a reason. Everything that was awesome about the "Attitude Era" is really gone now, except for the occasional cameo. Getting color (Blood/Cutting) is hardly ever done anymore on WWE. Women actually wrestle in a division a hell of a lot more, and they aren't objectified. They even have a Cartoon to watch on the WWE network.

I am not sure how much more family friendly it can get. Vince has almost brought WWE back to the time when the business was in the gutter (Pre Attitude Era/Montreal Screw-job), because all the wrestlers had gimmicks related to jobs.

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Fox network isn't part of the deal. Like I said below, Fox got the WWE rights to fill the programming void that will be left when they get rid of their in-house production company.

WWE falls into the same category as Fox's NFL packages, first choice of Big Ten games, and NASCAR package -- none of those are part of the 21st Century Fox sale.

I've said this in other places, but I don't understand what people expect ESPN to show from 7 am to 7 pm that people are going to watch over their talking head shows.

And seriously, it's not like Fox is doing anything during the day either. They have their token morning show, then re-runs of sitcoms throughout the day.

I would be happy with non-stop Sportscenter, like in the good ole' days. However, Youtube, has made this dream obsolete. I miss being able to put on Sportscenter at anytime of day and just be able to actually watch sports highlights.

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You can watch SportsCenter anytime you want on ESPNNews or Watch ESPN/ESPN3

Nobody is forcing you to watch their programming between sunrise to primetime live sports. In fact, even they realize its just filler noise to get to the timeslots when people actually watch.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Do they even do Top 10s anymore? I can't remember the last time I saw one.

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Yep, its in the last 5/10 mins of every SC hour.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I can only speak for what I watch in the morning but The Junkies on 106.7 radio show now on NBC Washington in NoVA is something I always tune in for. Not only their personalities and show are hilarious but I do like being able to watch their interactions and reactions to fan calling in. I prefer that over watching Sportscenter 11/10.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I appreciate all the support, and I appreciate all the hate I am getting. I will continue to work as hard as I can to be the best I can be and bring this team a championship. Go Hokies 🐔 - Josh Jackson

Can't get this magic back...

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

If I ever play fantasy football again, I am calling my team "Bob Caudle's BDSM Basement."

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

You would love Ring of Honor French.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

For what it's worth, Smackdown will be aired live on network Fox, not Fox Sports

Chem PhD '16

Yeah that's a huge deal. I kind of feel like it needs take over RAW as the #1 Show, because you cannot have the subpar show on a national station that can be picked up just about anyone.

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All of this is going on while Fox is a prime target for a buyout of its own, with Disney and Comcast at the top of the contenders. I think Disney's current bid is around $50 Billion for a big chunk of the Fox properties. All of the hype around the Fox properties is partly enhanced by the pending outcome of the AT&T merger with Time Warner and how that shapes the market whenever the FCC gets around to putting a final stamp of approval on the deal. As to the impact on the WWE, it depends on which Fox Property this is determined to belong to, because the Fox normal Television properties are part of the bid to be sold but the Sports Cable Networks are not.

Disney already owns the rights to the Fox Production side, but not the TV distribution side though.

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From Wikipedia:

Under the terms of the agreement, which is expected to close by summer 2019, pending regulatory approval, Disney will acquire the Twentieth Century Fox film and TV studios, cable networks such as FX Networks and Fox Sports Regional Networks, stakes in National Geographic Partners, Fox Networks Group, Indian satellite TV group Star India, stakes in Hulu, UK based satellite TV group Sky plc, and other key assets.

21st Century Fox will spin-off Fox News, the Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes, the Big Ten Network, the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Stations, and MyNetworkTV into the "New Fox" company.

The deal with WWE falls under the "New Fox" company and would air on the Fox over-the-air channel.

There is a tentative agreement in place between Fox and Disney but it hasn't been finalized and Comcast appears to be preparing to put a wrench in the works if they can, see article link below.

Article Link Here

Yeah the Disney deal is a stock purchase. The Comcast offer?

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

From what I've read from informed media observers, they think that Fox still might go with the Disney deal even if the Comcast deal is the bigger dollar amount.

Murdoch appears to favor the deal that makes him a Disney shareholder. Additionally, since the AT&T/Time Warner merger has hit snags at the federal level, a Fox/Comcast deal might have similar issues.

Fox/Disney will still have some bumpy roads ahead, but it seems to be an easier pill for regulators to swallow. The biggest regulatory hurdle in that deal may be the Fox RSNs that make ESPN even more of a juggernaut in sports broadcasting.

Remember, Comcast is offering cash because they want the Fox properties with no strings attached (i.e. no Murdochs). Disney would be adding them to the fold and the Murdochs would still have a stake in the larger conglomerate.

Either way, the bulk of Fox is getting sold, and the TV network won't have an in-house production company to supply them with programming. That's why they've gone after Thursday Night Football and WWE. Now, that's two nights a week that they don't have to worry about programming.