WWE Stock Skyrockets on Huge ‘SmackDown’-to-Fox Deal

Shares of pro-wrestling promotion rise almost 15 percent on Monday

Last Updated: May 22, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

WWE just laid the smackdown on the New York Stock Exchange: Shares in Vince McMahon’s publicly traded pro-wrestling promotion have soared nearly 15 percent today, or more than $7 apiece.

The instantaneous upward mobility comes about as a result of a mega-deal with Fox Sports, first reported by TheWrap, for the TV rights to its weekly “SmackDown” show in what an individual close to the talks said would be a five-year deal worth as much as $1 billion.

The popular series, which currently airs on USA Network, will move to Fox’s broadcast channel in Fall 2019. The over-the-air network will shift the show from Tuesday to Friday.

Here’s a snapshot of Monday’s movement:

WWE stock

Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal and thus USA Network, will maintain the WWE’s Monday series “Raw.”

The pricey rights to the two most popular weekly professional wrestling shows have been on the auctioneer’s block for a few months now. Simultaneously, those platforms interested in live sporting events and a young male demo have also been bidding on UFC packages.

Next year won’t mark “SmackDown’s” first time on broadcast — the 19-year-old show used to air on UPN, then The CW, then MyNetworkTV, before heading to NBCUniversal’s Syfy and, ultimately, USA.

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