SmackDown's future has been subjected to a swarm of rumors as of late, but we finally have something concrete.
SmackDown is no stranger to moving about—Fox Sports will be the Blue Brand's sixth home (UPN, USA, Syfy, The CW, and MyNetworkTV). WWE's "B Show" has also kept a fluid schedule in its history having aired on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.
Monday's new on the heels of a report indicating NBCUniveral, the current owner of WWE's television rights, allowing Vince McMahon and Co. to shop SmackDown to potential suitors in an effort to keep RAW on their affiliated USA Network.
Fox has been attached to WWE rumors for most of 2018. The media conglomerate just lost UFC to ESPN and Disney and now they'll look to fill that void with professional wrestling.
There is a chance there Fox isn't done, too. They've also been implicated as a potential landing spot for RAW, WWE's flagship program. However, NBCUniversal appears to be committed to keeping RAW on their family of networks. WWE and NBCU's agreement expires in September 2019.
However, we may be on the tip of the Fox iceberg.
In January, The Wrestling Observer reported that WWE may be on the verge of a colossal business agreement with Fox(an undeniable fact as of Monday). Per their report, Triple H met with Fox Sports in the fall of 2017 where the parties discussed a new TV deal.
When WWE and NBC originally struck their agreement was, at the time, for an underwhelming $200 million. This number was low enough to spook shareholders and sent WWE's stock plummeting. WWE has since rebounded and FOX would likely need upwards of $400 million to secure the rights. Even more, given FOX's recent $52.4 billion deal with Disney, they have enough cash to buy WWE entirely, but The Observer believes that Vince McMahon is not interested in selling his company.
The past few years have been quite fruitful for WWE as the stock price is now trading at an all-time high.
"The company sits in a much stronger financial and negotiating position now than in 2014 (having just launched the WWE Network while PPV was winding down)," a Guggenheim analysis of WWE's product read. "We believe that WWE stands to make significant headway during its coming television contract negotiations due to an enhanced brand, new [business-to-business] relationships, more potential bidders than ever, and a contract that under-indexes other live premium programming."