Bengaluru, December 14: WWE Smackdown Live will move to Fox Sports in 2019. A million dollar contract was signed between the two parties to confirm a historic TV deal for the blue brand, earlier this year. We expect Fox Networks to bring in tough competition for the USA Network which is the host of the flagship show, Monday Night Raw.
Apparently, initial plans have already been made as Fox let their demands known to the officials. They want Smackdown to become more of a serious sports-oriented program. Starting from October 4th, 2019, the show will move to Friday nights which has led the Fox officials to make this show a weekly sports event on a regular basis.
According to the reports of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, FOX wants Smackdown to be a 'show less of comedy and take more of a sports direction'. They are willing to make this one a sports block in their schedule that will run from Thursday to Sunday. Hence, they want the B-show to be more action-packed from the start of 2019.
When it comes to WWE TV, Vince McMahon loves to introduce more comical content on the show as it adds a little humour to the shows. Smackdown is specifically known for its light-hearted content in comparison to serious actions which happen on WWE Raw. FOX might want to take Smackdown to the same level by trimming down funny segments.
When WWE and FOX signed the deal, they wanted a lot of cross-promoting with the other sports programs that they usually host . They are open to bring in a number of sports stars & personalities to promote this regular sports block on their network. But the source emphasized that they want to give them something athletically-oriented to promote.
This could be actually good for Smackdown when it comes to serving the fans who love to watch pure wrestling. FOX wants the storylines to circulate more on the wrestling part and less in a funny way. This means there will be less of dance breaks from next year onwards. Some fans might find it less entertaining, however.
It's yet to be determined whether WWE are content with this idea. If the plan is executed, there could be some serious TV rating problems without less of entertaining segments on the show. But WWE should become more of a mainstream show, meeting the demands of FOX. They have also planned to air a in-studio show after Smackdown Live. All said and done, we will have to wait till October 2019 to witness an effective implementation of the aforementioned plans.