WWE Rumors: Fox Offering to Air Raw on Broadcast TV as Part of Rights Talks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2018

Paul
Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press

Fox is reportedly offering WWE the chance to air Monday Night Raw on broadcast television if Fox and WWE come to terms on a TV rights deal.

According to Michael McCarthy of Sporting News, Raw would air on Fox, with SmackDown Live going to FS1 as part of Fox's offer.

WWE's long-running contract with USA Network will officially end on Sept. 30, 2019. WWE spokeswoman Annie Kruger told McCarthy that WWE plans to announce its television plans between May and this September.

Raw moving to Fox would be a major coup for WWE since the station is available in 115 million homes in the United States, as opposed to nearly 96 million for USA Network as of 2015.

Per McCarthy, a source said, "[Fox] is definitely trying to get [the WWE]. They'll pass on UFC, then use Raw for [Fox Broadcasting] and FS1 content."

Fox will have a significant programming opening should UFC sign elsewhere when its deal expires in 2018.

Both WWE and UFC are reportedly seeking $400 million per year for their television rights, according to McCarthy.

Although Fox promises to be an enticing suitor for WWE, it has a deeply rooted relationship with USA.

Raw aired on USA Network from its launch in 1993 through 2000 before moving to TNN/Spike TV from 2000 through 2005.

It returned to USA in 2005 and has aired on that station ever since.

SmackDown has aired on several different networks since its inception in 1999, and it moved to USA in 2016.

Should WWE and Fox strike a deal, Fox will gain the broadcasting rights for what WWE touts as the longest-running weekly episodic television show as Raw recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

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