“WWE SmackDown” is likely going to find itself with a new home around this time next year, as WWE looks to sign a new TV rights deal involving the blue brand. In recent months, Fox’s interest in retaining “SmackDown” has waned, largely due to the lack of return on investment it has already seen take place. That is unlikely to get any better, as WWE is seeking an increase in its broadcast fees. Amazon and Disney have continuously surfaced lately as two parties that might be interested in acquiring “SmackDown” if it becomes available — the former for its Prime Video streaming platform, and the latter to air on its FX cable network.
But, according to the Wrestling Observer, it’d be “incredibly stupid” for “SmackDown” to remain on Friday nights — if the deal with FX was to become a reality. Why? The same reason Fox already had concerns about keeping “SmackDown” — the revenue not being worth the cost. While “SmackDown” has performed well in the ratings for Fox, the ad rates attached to the show have not yielded an especially high return. And with those rates likely to diminish even further with a decreased viewership pool on cable (with numbers drawn by “AEW Dynamite” on Wednesdays being the comparison), that’s where maintaining the status quo on FX could be seen as foolish.
That’s where things then get a bit more complicated, prompting a musical chairs of sorts for some WWE programming. “SmackDown” hasn’t always aired on Fridays, also taking up shop on Thursdays in the past — which could be an option for FX or any other buyer that lands the program. Mondays are obviously off the table as the home of “WWE Raw” and, without some sort of agreement and coordination with USA Network, that would likely eliminate Tuesdays from the equation as well with “WWE NXT” currently living there. That then only leaves Wednesday as the other alternative — putting “SmackDown” in direct head-to-head competition with “Dynamite.” Things may be about to get dicey across the wrestling television landscape in the months ahead.