WWE’s deal with Fox starts on October 4 with SmackDown Live moving to Friday nights. We’re gradually learning more and more about the new deal, what the network expects from WWE, and vice versa.
The latest updates come to us from FOX Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier and Dave Meltzer, respectively. Collier spoke to the media during Fox’s presentation at the Television Critics Association where he said SmackDown will be replacing Fox comedies on Friday nights, with those comedies moving to different nights on the network.
Collier also said that SmackDown being on Friday nights is “short term” – which means it could move to a different night after a little while.
Dave Meltzer covered Collier’s presentation in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and here’s what he penned on the matter: (Collier said) “…other WWE programming (outside of SmackDown Live) would appear on FS1. There is no FOX deal at this point for anything but Smackdown. Media insiders have speculated about the idea of a third hour of Smackdown, since the costs of filming would be negligible, and having it air 10-11 p.m. on FS 1 on Fridays. But that’s at this point only speculation.
“Another idea talked about was a weekly news show similar to UFC Tonight on FS 1. But UFC Tonight, while certainly UFC-friendly, and it was Lorenzo Fertitta who got Ariel Helwani fired from that show years ago, still at least gave lip service to the real news stories on the industry and gave opinions on matchmaking and things like that, which a WWE show by the nature of the organization is going to be difficult.”