WWE’s SmackDown franchise will be moving to FOX in October 2019, as per the massive $1 billion deal that FOX struck with WWE.
According to The Wrap, SmackDown will continue to run as a live show bearing the current name “SmackDown Live”. However, as previously noted, the show will shift back to Fridays instead of the current Tuesday time slot. It will be interesting to see whether WWE books any house shows on Tuesdays to cover any revenue losses from eliminating a key night for live attendance.
NBC Universal will be retaining Monday Night RAW as part of its new deal with WWE at three times the current value. SmackDown, which was earlier called “The B Show”, gained in popularity after going live in May 2016, thus increasing the value for advertising during the show.
SmackDown’s move to FOX won’t be the brand’s first time on broadcast — the show which has been successfully running for nearly two decades (9 years to be exact), used to air on UPN, then The CW, then MyNetworkTV, before heading to NBCUniversal’s Syfy and finally, the USA Network.
NBCUniversal, which had shed $30 million for the SmackDown franchise earlier in 2010, will part ways with WWE’s blue brand as the current deal is set to expire in the fall of 2019.
WWE and FOX are yet to comment on the story.