UPDATE: As mentioned elsewhere, it’s possible this is due to WWE shows being viewed as ‘sport’ content rather than traditional TV content. But we’ll keep you posted with any further updates.
WWE was interestingly absent from both NBCU and FOX upfront content, ahead of TV rights renewals.
On Monday (May 15) NBC completed its upfront presentation for advertising partners at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.
Per PWInsider, there wasn’t any mention of WWE programming, other than WWE content in a video package for the Peacock streaming service, the current home of the WWE Network in the US.
It was also noted that no WWE stars were in attendance, as they have been in previous upfront presentations.
PWInsider also reported that there was no mention of WWE in the FOX press release ahead of its upfront presentation either.
Both Raw and NXT currently air on NBC’s USA Network, while SmackDown airs on FOX.
WWE is preparing for TV rights renewal talks, as well as talks for potential new TV deals.
Previous reports have indicated that NBC may be interested in acquiring SmackDown, however at the time of that report, there hadn’t been any official negotiations.
Here are results from the Friday, May 12 episode of WWE SmackDown:
AJ Styles def. Edge, Rey Mysterio in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament
Bobby Lashley def. Austin Theory, Sheamus in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament
Grayson Waller appeared in a backstage segment with Adam Pearce and announced the winner of the Styles vs Lashley main event would appear on his Grayson Waller Effect talk show next week
Cameron Grimes def. Baron Corbin
Roman Reigns made his first appearance since WrestleMania 39 and said that Solo Sikoa has stepped up, but the Usos are a problem and that they embarrassed him
Paul Heyman then announced Reigns and Sikoa would be challenging Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia
Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez def. Bayley & Dakota Kai to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Former NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly made their SmackDown debut backstage, setting up a match against the Brawling Brutes for next week
Bianca Belair appeared for a ‘celebration’ in her hometown of Knoxville, but was interrupted by a returning Asuka who spat mist in Belair’s face
AJ Styles def. Bobby Lashley in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament
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