Sporting News is featuring an article about FOX showing interested in the WWE television rights when they expire with NBC Universal next year.
The article notes that NBC’s “exclusive negotiating period” with WWE ends this spring and FOX executives are said to be very interested in WWE programming.
This news comes days after FOX executives attended the Smackdown Live taping this past Tuesday night in Los Angeles, including Fox Sports personality Colin Cowherd. Cowherd even hinted at a possible relationship on the air this week.
The article also claims that FOX is “dangling the opportunity” to air Monday Night RAW on the networks broadcast channel, with Smackdown Live airing on FS1 on cable. This means RAW could be seen in 115 million homes should it air on broadcast TV.
While WWE declined to comment on the FOX rumors, they did confirm that that the company plans to announce its future U.S. television partner between May and September of this year. The deal with NBC Universal expires on September 30, 2019.
The UFC became a major partner with FOX back in 2011, with that current deal expiring on December 31 this year. A source quoted in the article stated FOX would definitely try to get WWE programming and drop UFC. UFC has been meeting with ESPN, Turner Sports, CBS and NBC. Amazon is another potential suitor for the mixed martial arts giant as well.