— FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch spoke on the company’s Q1 earnings call and was asked about moving on from WWE. He noted that the reason was that FOX was not seeing the return on investment from Smackdown that they expected from an advertising perspective.
“We were not hitting the advertising numbers due to the audience of the WWE for our return on investment to be above the levels that we would accept. But also, we didn’t attribute enough significant retransmission revenue to the WWE either.”
“So, it made sense for us to move on. They’ve been a great partner for many years but just quite simply, we’re very disciplined and the ROI didn’t meet our pretty disciplined parameters. So, we wish them luck and we’ve moved on from them.”
— WWE Smackdown is moving back to the USA Network beginning in October of 2024 after a new $1.4 billlion contract over five years, a 40% increase over what WWE earned with FOX over the previous five years.