Could SmackDown’s deal with the USA Network mean the blue brand is on the move? Dave Meltzer seems to think so.
It’s all change in WWE in 2024 as the three weekly shows look like they’re all going to be on the move. WWE SmackDown is leaving FOX after five years on the network as it gets set to find a new home on the USA Network.
WWE NXT is going the other way as it is set to move to The CW while the future of Monday Night Raw remains unknown. While the networks WWE’s shows air on changes, the wrestling calendar could also be in for a shake-up.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer explained why he thinks it would be complete madness for the USA Network to continue airing SmackDown on Friday nights:
USA would be absolutely foolish to run SmackDown on Friday with the amount that they’re paying [WWE]. They’re already costing themselves audience by going to USA. USA is paying $279 million a year for a programme and they’re gonna put it on a Friday night which is one of the worst two nights to draw [an audience] that’s completely stupid.
I was presuming that they’d move to Wednesday or perhaps a Thursday but it makes no sense for SmackDown to stay on Friday on USA Network.
FOX Used WWE SmackDown As A Bridge On Fridays
When questioned as to why SmackDown was put on Friday nights on FOX, Meltzer noted the two networks are completely different animals:
They were not the star show on FOX, the star show on FOX is the sports. They were on Friday because that’s the night FOX wanted them, they wanted [WWE] as a bridge. They were doing NFL on Thursday, college football on Saturday and pro football on Sunday, they wanted a sports-like show to be the bridge. They chose Friday, not WWE.
With USA it’s completely different. There’s a good chance they’re losing Raw, most of the talk is Raw’s gonna go to FX and if that’s the case then [SmackDown] is by far the star show on the network, you’re gonna put the star show on the network on one of the two worst nights to draw, that makes no sense at all.
As wrestling fans will know, there could be seismic eruptions should SmackDown end up on Wednesday nights as that could spell disaster for AEW Dynamite.
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