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Rumor: FOX Looking To Replace UFC With WWE

The WWE may be looking for a new home for their programming come September 30, 2019. Currently in a deal with NBCUniversal / USA Network and airing Raw and SmackDown Live on those respective cable networks, there has been speculation that WWE may seek a better cable deal and that FOX would be interested.

A recent report by both The Wrestling Observer Newsletter and The SportsBusiness Journal recently is proving that WWE isn't the only side of the partnership that might be looking at making a move. In fact, FOX is reportedly so interested in WWE programming, they're considering dumping the UFC to air WWE shows instead.

The report revolves around the fact that UFC's television negotiations aren't going well with FOX and that UFC is viewing the lastest FOX offer of $200 million as far too little compared to the $450 million annual deal they were seeking. Meanwhile, FOX believes it can obtain WWE rights for around that $200 million mark and earn better ratings which WWE has traditionally offered.

Related: FOX Sports Ups Offer To Bring WWE RAW To Their Network

The deal would see UFC have to find a new home, WWE move to FOX and Raw would air on Monday's in a two-hour slot while SmackDown Live would air on the FS1 station on Tuesdays. For FOX it would also mean losing UFC and moving the $160 million it paid Dana White and company this year while spending that investment on WWE programming.

The Sporting News recently posted a story about FOX potentially hoping something like this goes through and preferring to have WWE to UFC. "[Fox] is definitely trying to get [the WWE]," the story reads. "They'll pass on UFC, then use 'Raw' for [Fox Broadcasting] and FS1 content."

Photo from thedailybeast.com

For fans who have long hoped Raw might move to a two-hour show, this would likely be the only way in which such a change would occur. WWE makes too much money during that third hour of their flagship show on sponsorship to simply give it up without a much more lucrative cable deal in place. One would certainly be there as WWE is looking for a much higher payout with whomever lands their programming.

WWE has moved stations before and fans have stayed loyal. Come September 2019, a deal between FOX and WWE isn't too much of a stretch. Should  NBCUniversal / USA Network feel like they are losing out, they could always make a pitch for UFC or look into airing New Japan Pro Wrestling which might be looking for a national cable deal in North America.

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