FOX is reportedly losing money under their deal with WWE SmackDown.
A new report from the Wrestling Observer cites a Morgan Stanley analysis that said the price tag for SmackDown could not be justified. FOX paid $196.7 million for SmackDown in the 2020-2021 TV season, and ended up with $134 million in losses. In the 2021-2022 season, FOX paid $208.5 million for the show, and ended up with $145 million in losses.
The conclusion to the analysis was that there simply are not enough wrestling fans to justify the kind of money FOX spent on SmackDown, and that the number of viewers likely will not change over the next two years.
SmackDown wins Friday nights for FOX on most weeks and that makes WWE more valuable to other networks, but at the same time, even with winning the night, SmackDown still brings in the lowest ad rates of Friday night primetime network TV shows at $47,000 per minutes.
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