Fox Sports Pins WWE 'Smackdown' for $1 Billion

May 23, 2018

By Conor White

World Wrestling Entertainment and Fox Sports have agreed to a reported $1 billion deal that will bring the wrestling show "Smackdown" to broadcast television in 2019.

The move gives WWE access to a wider audience, according to Tony Maglio, the TV editor at The Wrap, and it gives Fox Sports live content that draws young male viewers coveted by advertisers.

"These combat sports target young males, and young males are always going to be a very desirable demographic," Maglio said in an interview Wednesday with Cheddar.

WWE already has its own robust streaming platform, and a deal with NBC for its wrestling show "Raw" on the USA Network. The Fox deal takes it to the next level.

"Vince McMahon wants the exposure," said Maglio. "The exposure on broadcast, which he's been on before, it's greater than cable, it's greater than streaming."

For Fox, which may lose part of its pipeline for scripted series when Disney or Comcast complete a deal for 21st Century Fox studios, the addition of "Smackdown" gives programming executives a new source of live entertainment, said Maglio.

For full interview, click here.

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