NBCUniversal "Stunned" at Losing Smackdown; Fox Was Hoping to Land Raw
— NBCUniversal was said to be “stunned” at losing Smackdown as they never imagined that the bidding for WWE’s “B” show would ever reach the levels that they did, let alone $200 million annually which was only reached because there were multiple suitors vying for Smackdown.
— Due to their ratings situation, the decision was made that USA Network could not lose Raw and so they used their contractual right to match any offer as a way to keep the show, whereas Fox had hoped to nab Raw and put it on its main network on Monday nights. When NBCUniversal declined to match Smackdown at the $200 million range, the show entered the open market and Fox went all-in after not being able to acquire Raw.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Subscription information & prices available at f4wonline.com
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