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WWE and NBCUniversal Forge Historic Media Deal, SmackDown Returns to USA Network in October 2024


WWE has just secured a major media rights deal with NBCUniversal, marking a significant expansion of their prime-time presence. Under this five-year agreement set to kick off in October 2024, Friday Night SmackDown is making a triumphant return to the USA Network. What’s more, WWE is set to venture into prime-time on NBC, producing four annual specials starting in the 2024/25 season – a historic first for WWE on the network.

Friday Night SmackDown has been a mainstay in television entertainment and will now become an exclusive offering on NBCUniversal. It consistently ranks as one of the highest-rated shows on Friday nights among the coveted 18-49 demographic. The show boasts a star-studded roster featuring WWE Superstars like John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Rey Mysterio.

WWE President Nick Khan expressed his enthusiasm for extending their partnership, highlighting NBCUniversal’s crucial role in WWE’s journey. Frances Berwick, Chairman of NBCUniversal Entertainment, echoed this excitement, emphasizing how WWE has contributed to USA Network’s status as a top-rated cable entertainment network.

This new agreement builds upon the existing collaboration between WWE and NBCUniversal. Currently, USA Network is home to WWE NXT and WWE Monday Night Raw, with the latter ranking as the second-highest cable entertainment program in the 18-49 demographic in 2023. Both shows continue to engage a dedicated WWE audience, with significant year-over-year growth.

Since 2021, Peacock has exclusively hosted WWE Network in the U.S., giving subscribers access to a vast library of on-demand WWE content. This includes original series, groundbreaking documentaries, classic shows, and premium live events like WrestleMania. WWE’s presence on Peacock has seen record-breaking engagement, particularly during WrestleMania 39’s livestream in April.

This deal not only solidifies WWE’s position in the media landscape but also promises exciting content for wrestling fans in the years to come.

Ryan White-Nobles
Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TV Source Magazine. He's began covering entertainment and soap operas in 2005. In 2009 he co-launched Soap Opera Source, and led the TV Source rebrand in 2012. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.

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