In a press release sent out on Thursday by the WWE, the company has secured a new multi-year television deal. The WWE has re-signed with NBC/Universal to continue to broadcast their WWE television deal with their networks. This means that “WWE Monday Night Raw” will remain on the USA Network for many more years.
In the press release, WWE CEO Vince McMahon said that they are proud to continue working with NBC/Universal in promoting their show. He also mentioned that they produce family-friendly entertainment 52 weeks a year. The deal will keep “WWE Monday Night Raw” on USA, “WWE Friday Night Smackdown” on SyFy and “Total Divas” on E!.
The WWE started their flagship “WWE Monday Night Raw” show on the USA Network over 20 years ago in 1993. They aired their show there until 2000, and when negotiations for a new deal popped up, TNN won out in the bidding wars. TNN, which is now Spike TV, held onto “Raw” until 2005, when the WWE returned to the USA Network. The WWE made sure that their TV deals for “Raw” and “Smackdown” ended at the same time so they could package them together.
That deal ends this year and the exclusivity negotiating period with NBC/Universal ended in January. The WWE has heard offers from numerous other networks since then, but chose to remain with NBC/Universal. The details of the new WWE television deal remain unknown.
“WWE Monday Night Raw” averages five million viewers per episode. “WWE Friday Night Smackdown” averages 3.2 million viewers on one of the more difficult nights of the week for television ratings. Combined, the two shows have reached 37.5 million people so far this year.
One of the big WWE rumors was that if NBC/Universal won the bidding for the new WWE television deal, they would possibly put up the money to help build a physical WWE Hall of Fame. The location is rumored to be at Universal Studios in Florida. Whether or not that actually occurs is also still unknown.