There have been a lot of massive money numbers thrown around in the news lately when it comes to the WWE. Last week, WWE's stock price hit an all-time high of $51 per-share, which in turn sent Vince McMahon's net worth up to a high of $2.3 billion dollars. And now we have the numbers associated with the new WWE TV deals going into effect next year.
Beginning in October 2019, SmackDown will be moving to Friday nights from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Fox. While Raw renewed its deal and will remain on the USA Network on Monday nights, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:05 p.m. and Wrestling Observer is reporting that, according to one insider, both deals combined are worth between $445 and $475 million! With the SmackDown deal alone being about $4 million a week or $205 million a year (pretty much the same thing).
Obviously, Fox wasn't going to put the show on during prime time on a Tuesday night, and with Friday night being a bit of a ratings black hole for networks, having popular and original programming is a great deal.
For the WWE, it will be interesting to see how this works for them having the show that late in the week. It is just two days before pay-per-views—which could be a great way to build right into a big show. However, having it five days after a pay-per-view could be a pretty long wait to build off of stuff that happens at said event— although, SmackDown was on Thursdays for years (and even experienced some time on Fridays) so they do have experience with a pay-per-view to SmackDown break.
Fox had a deal on the table with the UFC for $200 million, but apparently, they decided to pull that deal and—although there may not be any direct correlation between the two—spent $205 million on WWE. The day after the UFC deal didn't happen, ESPN picked up the TV rights to the octagon fights for $150 million.
The Fox deal with the WWE is a five-year deal which makes it worth a total of over $1 billion. That comes after another huge deal that the network made with the NFL earlier this year. Fox bought the rights to air 11 Thursday Night Football games per year for five years starting with this 2018 season. The deal comes in at $660 million per year and over $3 billion for the five years.