WWE confirmed months of speculation and reporting about the future of the wrestling company’s television broadcasts. The worldwide leader in wrestling is changing the channel for one of their top shows. SmackDown Live is officially moving to Fox starting in October 2019.
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For the first time, every Friday night beginning October 4, 2019, FOX broadcast network will air WWE®’s flagship program SmackDown Live as part of a new five-year agreement with FOX Sports.
WWE confirmed SmackDown would broadcast live. This is a change from SmackDown’s previous turns on the end of the week when it was recorded on Tuesdays. WWE moving to network television is gigantic. The company will virtually double its audience by moving one of their shows from cable to terrestrial TV. But what about RAW? The red brand is sticking with USA for another five years.
What’s important to note here is that according to this release, SmackDown will remain at just two hours and RAW at three. There is talk that part of the deal with Fox will include re-plays and other shows on Fox’s sports channel, FS1. While the numbers weren’t released in these statements, previous reports indicate the two deals total into the billions.
This is huge. WWE is moving into major-sports territory. Their deal with two networks eclipses those of their closest rivals both in and out of wrestling. UFC’s deal with ESPN will net the MMA brand about half as much. Meanwhile, Impact, Ring of Honor, and New Japan remain in late night spots or on hard-to-find cable networks.
Categorized: Ringside Intel Sports Wrestling