One of the biggest criticisms of the WWE product is that three hours of Raw every week is too much for the WWE Universe to enjoy. Each hour is pivotal to WWE’s financial situation, and the USA Network has given the company great exposure for Raw since 2012 and SmackDown Live over the past two years. However, it seems likely that the USA Network and WWE will be parting ways after their current deal expires in 2019.
It’s being reported by Sportskeeda that FOX Network has serious interest in featuring WWE programming in 2019 if the USA Network and WWE can’t work out another deal. On paper, that would force some major changes to the WWE product. Since FOX has an extremely well established 10 pm news cycle, the rumor is that Monday Night Raw would return to its original two-hour format if WWE signs a new deal with FOX.
With the WWE Network continuing to grow and the company working with Facebook to feature the Mixed Match Challenge next week, it’s unclear if WWE officials are willing to sign another long-term contract with FOX or USA. Moving to the FOX Network and losing an hour of content would be a major change for WWE programming, especially with programs like 205 Live and several others struggling on the WWE Network.
WWE officials would have to change their booking or do something drastic because the current roster has a great deal of exposure with three hours of Raw and two hours of SmackDown Live every week on cable. If the company loses an hour of content in 2019, that will mean less exposure for performers. Some fan might like the idea of having two hours of Raw each week, but it would create a lot of problems for WWE officials.
Unfortunately, news on this matter is going to move slowly since the current deal between USA and WWE is not going to expire until 2019. The USA Network also has the option to renew the deal. WWE’s future on cable won’t be clear for well over a year, but there could be some major changes to the product next year. If Raw is forced to move back to two hours, it could be the change the WWE Universe has wanted to see.