Reports have surfaced this week that WWE will be parting ways with Sky Sports in the UK after a 30-year partnership with the broadcaster.
WWE's televisual home in the United States has jumped around quite a bit over the past few decades. While Raw and SmackDown Live currently call the USA Network home, that has not always been the case. In fact, by the end of this year, the blue brand will be moving over to Friday nights on Fox.
In the UK, things are very different. WWE began a partnership with British broadcasters Sky all the way back in 1989. In October of that year, Sky 1 aired an event called UK Rampage. That signaled the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship. To this day, Raw and SmackDown Live still air exclusively on Sky Sports in the UK, while PPVs are still available on Sky Box Office despite the presence of the WWE Network.
RELATED: AEW'S WEEKLY SHOW TO AIR ON TNT
That's why news broken by The Telegraph is somewhat groundbreaking. The British news outlet has reported that WWE's 30-year long partnership is about to come to an end. WWE and Sky signed a five-year deal back in 2014 and once that deal comes to an end this year, BT Sport will acquire the rights to Raw and SmackDown Live.
Viewing figures for Raw and SmackDown Live have been on the decline in the US. It is unclear what the live viewership is for the shows in the UK. Likely not that high since due to the time difference, the shows begin at 1 am local time. As of right now, it is unclear as to whether BT Sport offered more than Sky Sports has been paying, or that ratings have dropped to a level where Sky isn't interested in penning a new deal.
When it comes to wrestling TV deals, it has been quite the week. Not only is WWE moving from Sky to BT, but AEW revealed that its weekly show will debut on TNT later this year. For those unfamiliar with the UK setup, BT is not necessarily a step down for WWE. The newer broadcast company continue to prove itself as quite the foe to Sky, and poaching WWE programming from its rival could well be the latest body blow.