WWE Rumour Mill: What will the Fox Sports deal change for WWE's SmackDown Live?
What's the story?
WWE recently confirmed that they had signed a new television deal with Fox for SmackDown Live which will start from the 1st of October in 2019. They decided on the move from USA Network after their contract negotiations with Fox were successful.
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The show is set to move to Friday nights from their usual Tuesday Night slot, but according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer (H/T Ringside News), that may not be the only change going forward.
In case you didn't know...
WWE signed a deal with Fox Sports, which will see their Blue Brand show, SmackDown Live make the jump to Friday Nights from the 1st of October, 2019.
The television contracts became a major point of discussion when WWE entered the negotiation period for new contracts. While USA Network chose to retain Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live moved to a new destination.
The heart of the matter
The change will see SmackDown Live reach a much larger network audience than they did with the USA Network. The change from Tuesday to Friday will also see WWE's work days change, as they will have to adjust their live event schedules as well.
A major thing that Dave Meltzer pointed out was that the television deal which had been signed by WWE was between them and Fox Sports, not Fox Entertainment.
WWE is in the business of Sports Entertainment and not real sports. Meltzer admitted he did not know if this would affect the product, but he speculated that they might treat WWE like a real sport which the professional wrestling company was not. He said that he did not think this would be the case, as WWE was not used to being treated like a sport.
".....that’s how they are viewing it as a sport which is going to be interesting because I don’t think they’re going to treat it like one because if they do… WWE isn’t used to being treated like a sport. And they’re not a sport, they’re an entertainment [show]."
Ringside News speculated that Fox would let WWE handle their own product in the beginning, but that might change if WWE doesn't do well in the ratings.
1st October 2019 will see many changes for WWE, with Fox possibly helping them out in production as well. Until then, SmackDown Live will look to continue putting on good shows for the USA Network.
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