Shinsuke Nakamura and Karrion Kross wrestle throughout the WWE SmackDown at Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot on May 5, 2023, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Gladys Vega | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
WWE’s “Friday Night SmackDown” will return to USA Network in October 2024 as a part of a five-year domestic media rights partnership between TKO Group Holdings and NBCUniversal, WWE said Thursday.
Shares of TKO dropped greater than 14% following the announcement.
The deal comes out to a mean of $287 million per 12 months, a complete value of over $1.4 billion, people conversant in the matter told CNBC. WWE doesn’t expect to achieve a rights agreement for its flagship show “Raw” until next 12 months.
“SmackDown” has been on Fox since October 2019, with a rights agreement for $205 million per 12 months in a five-year deal. The brand new agreement is roughly a 40% increase. “SmackDown” last appeared on USA Network from 2016 to 2019.
WWE is a component of TKO Group Holdings, which was created after a merger between WWE and Endeavor‘s UFC. TKO began trading on the NYSE last week.
WWE will even produce 4 prime-time specials per 12 months to air on NBC starting within the 2024-2025 season.
“It is a privilege and thrill to proceed NBCU’s decades-long partnership with WWE which has helped cement USA Network’s consistent position because the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership,” said Frances Berwick, chairman of NBCUniversal Entertainment. “With Friday nights on USA, primetime specials on NBC, and the WWE hub on Peacock, we’ll proceed to make use of the facility of our portfolio to super-serve this passionate fanbase.”
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.