WWE CFO Discusses Potentially Moving Raw And SmackDown To Separate TV Networks

One of the biggest news stories to keep an eye on this year involves the next TV deal that WWE gets.

WWE’s television contract is expiring in 2019 with the USA Network. The sports entertainment company held many of the same meetings before their last TV negotiations a few years ago. WWE has talked with the USA Network, FOX, Disney, CBS, Amazon, and YouTube.

There is a lot of speculation that WWE could sign with FOX. The reason for the potential move would be due to UFC possibly leaving FOX as the UFC and WWE’s TV deals expire around the same time.

If WWE signed with FOX then Monday Night RAW would go to FOX while SmackDown Live would go to FOX Sports 1. If this happened then RAW may have to go back to two hours and they wouldn’t have an overrun due to local news starting at 10pm EST.

WWE Chief Financial Officer George Barrios took part in the 46th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Conference this week. During that conference, he talked about potentially airing RAW and SmackDown Live on separate TV networks.

“Market determines that opportunity. From our end, [we don’t think] it’s an issue to split it,” said Barrios. “We have done it before. We think we’re pretty good at promoting and moving our viewers from one platform to another. Seven or eight years ago, it was only from one network to another network, which changed dramatically. We can’t over-emphasize it, is the nature of social and digital and helping do that.

“So, we’ve been able to do it before, we would feel even more comfortable doing it today just because we have a direct connection with all our fans which we did not have seven or eight years ago. So, our ability to do that, if it made sense economically, there were partners interested, if we felt comfortable with the partners in question, operationally we would not see an issue with doing that.”

H/T to Wrestling Inc for the transcribed quotes

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