Wrestling’s WWE, part of the new TKO Group Holdings publicly listed company, and US media heavyweight NBCUniversal have signed a five-year domestic media rights partnership.
The deal brings the weekly Friday Night SmackDown show back to USA Network from October 2024.
The long-term agreement is reportedly worth $1.4 billion.
USA Network ousts current rightsholder Fox, which has held rights since 2019 under a five-year deal. Prior to that, SmackDown had aired on USA Network from 2016 to 2019.
Additionally, from the 2024-25 season, WWE will produce four primetime specials per year that will air on NBC, which will mark the first time WWE will air on the network in primetime.
The tie-up with NBCUniversal represents the first rights deal for TKO Group since it merged WWE with mixed martial arts promotion UFC.
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WWE president Nick Khan said: “NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades. We are excited to extend this longstanding relationship by bringing SmackDown to USA Network on Friday nights and look forward to debuting multiple WWE special events annually on NBC.”
As part of WWE and NBCUniversal’s existing partnership, USA Network currently broadcasts WWE NXT and WWE Monday Night Raw.
Raw and NXT will continue to air on the USA Network through September 2024.