WWE Not Planning To End Brand Split Before FOX Deal Begins

Nov 23, 2018 - by James Walsh

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that while there are rumors that WWE will go back to having just one brand when Smackdown moves to FOX next year, this is actually not going to happen. There had been rumors that WWE needed all of their top stars on Smackdown due to the importance of network primetime numbers.

However, FOX reportedly doesn’t want to cross-promote the same wrestlers that are seen on NBCUniversal’s RAW on the USA Network. That makes it more likely that the rosters will stay separate. It’s also believed that RAW and Smackdown will have different production teams, with more live events for the WWE Network. It’s believed that Smackdown will have the live TV show on Friday, followed by whatever Saturday live events they have airing on the WWE Network. RAW, meanwhile, will work Sundays for live events or PPV events, followed by RAW on Monday.

Smackdown premieres on FOX on October 4, 2019. We reported last month that FOX wants the show to have less comedy and more of a sports-oriented feel. They plan to include it as part of their sports block of programming, which runs from Thursday to Sunday. Vince McMahon, however, seems to prefer the comedy approach with parts of his shows. FOX also wants to do cross-promoting with the other shows they have, including FOX Sports stars and personalities appearing on different shows to promote the block (including Smackdown). They want to give them something with a more athletic presentation to promote.

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