WWE Smackdown is moving again. WWE and NBCUniversal have made a five-year deal to return the Friday night series to USA Network in October 2024. The wrestling series has aired on FOX since 2019. The agreement also includes four specials which will air on NBC in primetime.
USA Network revealed more about the return of WWE Smackdown in a press release.
WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO), and NBCUniversal have agreed to a five-year domestic media rights partnership that will bring Friday Night SmackDown back to USA Network beginning October 2024. Additionally, beginning in the 2024/25 season, WWE will produce four primetime specials per year that will air on NBC, marking the first time WWE will air on the network in primetime.
SmackDown will come exclusively to NBCU as one of television’s longest-running programs, regularly rating as the No. 1 show in the 18-49 advertising demographic on Friday nights and featuring many WWE Superstars including John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Rey Mysterio.
“NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades,” said WWE President Nick Khan. “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.”
“It’s a privilege and thrill to continue NBCU’s decades-long partnership with WWE which has helped cement USA Network’s consistent position as the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership” said Frances Berwick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment. “With Friday nights on USA, primetime specials on NBC, and the WWE hub on Peacock, we’ll continue to use the power of our portfolio to super-serve this passionate fanbase.”
As part of WWE and NBCUniversal’s longstanding relationship, USA Network is currently home to WWE NXT and WWE Monday Night Raw, which is the #2 cable entertainment program in 2023 in the 18-49 demo. Demonstrating the deeply engaged WWE audience on USA, WWE NXT (+27%) and WWE Monday Night Raw (+15%) are up double-digits year-over-year in the target demographic. WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE NXT will continue to air on USA Network through September 2024.
In addition, since 2021, Peacock has been the exclusive home of WWE Network in the U.S. where Peacock subscribers can stream thousands of hours of on-demand programming from WWE including original series, groundbreaking documentaries, fan-favorite shows from the WWE archives, and premium live events like WrestleMania, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, Summer Slam, and more. WWE continues to drive high engagement on the platform, with this April’s WrestleMania 39 livestream delivering a record-breaking weekend for Peacock as its highest weekend usage to-date.
The October 2024 premiere date for WWE Smackdown will be announced later.
What do you think? Are you a fan of WWE Smackdown? Will you continue watching the series when it returns to USA Network in 2024?
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