Smackdown Live Move to FOX Generated by Desire for More Live Sporting Content
As previously reported, Smackdown Live is set to join the FOX Network later this October. According to a report by Ringside News, there’s some additional insight on why the network pursued WWE’s Smackdown.
Per the report, FOX’s deal to broadcast Smackdown is partly because of the Disney purchase of 20th Century Fox, which should be noted does not include FOX TV channels (Fox News, FOX Network, FOX Sports). The Disney purchase of assets and properties previously owned FOX is going to cause a change in the network’s overall presentation. For example, shows such as The Simpsons and Family Guy will now be owned by Disney rather than the FOX Corporation. Also, FOX was looking for new programming to fill the void after UFC’s move to ESPN.
In the future, FOX wants to focus on live sporting events, and WWE’s Smackdown provides an outlet for live programming. With the changes that will be caused to FOX after the pending Disney acquisition of the previous FOX assets is complete, Smackdown Live fits more in live with the future vision by the network.
As noted, FOX Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier stated at the TCA Winter Press Tour stated that Smackdown Live airing on Fridays could be done in the “short term,” so it could possibly move to a different night later on.