What’s being said about WWE’s lack of presence at NBC’s upfront and FOX not mentioning Smackdown
On Monday, FOX issued a following press release for the network’s upcoming Fall season and there was no mention of WWE Friday Night Smackdown. In addition to that, there was no WWE presence at NBC’s upfront presentation in New York City.
In regards to WWE not being mentioned by the networks, Mike Johnson of PWInsiderElite.com noted that “WWE’s exclusive window to negotiate future media rights with FOX and NBC have either expired or are about to.” NBC Universal and FOX had around about a month of exclusive negotiating rights and Johnson added that “the belief within the company is they are about to or have already hit the point where WWE can open discussions with all potential media rights bidders for RAW, Smackdown, etc. in the United States.”
The deal between FOX and the WWE is set to expire after 2024. Executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation Lachlan Murdoch has publicly stated that the network is happy with the WWE although the two sides apparently haven’t discussed an extension yet.