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NBCUniversal Wrestles New WWE Deal

USA Network will retain its live WWE Monday Night Raw series as part of a multi-year strategic partnership between NBCUniversal and the WWE announced Thursday during its upfront presentation in New York.  

The deal also includes a renewal of Syfy’s top rated series Friday Night SmackDown and E!’s carriage of the WWE’s reality series Total Divas, according to NBCUniversal officials. The deals come three months after NBCUniversal lost its exclusive window to renew its content deals with the pro wrestling outfit. The two sides never stopped negotiating however, leading to the completion of the deal, according to sources close to the situation.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Monday Night Raw is among the most watched shows on cable, averaging more than 4 million viewers for its weekly, live three-hour run on USA. Raw and SmackDown combined average nearly 11 million viewers each week, according to NBCUniversal.

The deal also comes three months after the WWE launched its own OTT network, offering on demand WWE content as well as the company’s 12 monthly PPV events.

“USA Network President Chris McCumber, Syfy President Dave Howe and I are incredibly pleased to renew this strategic partnership with WWE,” said  NBCUniversal Cable Chairman Bonnie Hammer in a statement. “In today’s TV landscape, live event programming is an extraordinarily valuable asset, and WWE remains the only entertainment franchise that consistently delivers this on a 52-week a year basis. We look forward to bringing WWE’s action-packed and unique brand of drama to the wide audiences across our cable networks for many years to come.”