SmackDown Is History on FREE TV for Now

Posted by Don Moore on February 8, 2008 at 9:26 am under Professional | 3 Comments to Read

The Hollywood Reporter (story link) is reporting that WWE and the CW Network have ceased renewal talks. This means that when the current television season ends (May or September – depending on who you listen), SmackDown will no longer be seen on the CW Network (WCWG Channel 20 locally).

The story states that WWE will shop the show to other networks, so SmackDown is not canceled. It was not a show in the traditional sense anyway – IT WAS PAID PROGRAMMING. Just like those preachers and 30 minute long commercial shows – WWE paid the CW Network for the time and was responsible for content, commercial profits, etc. It was a WIN-WIN for the CW Network as they had a Night of Very Popular programming with ZERO costs and POSITIVE revenue.

For the WWE, moving off the public airwaves will allow them to venture into areas they were prohibited or restricted due to rules, regulations, time periods, etc. It would surprise me to see SmackDown on cable the week after their last show on FREE TV with a story line or two that will skyrocket their ratings.


  • Bruce Mitchell said,

    ??

    Smackdown wasn’t paid programming. It was a show that WWE was paid to do. CW sold the advertising for their profit.

  • Don said,

    Having worked at the local CW affiliate, I believe I would know, or at least how it was presented to us as an affiliate. We were told that UPN sold the WWE a two-hour block of time, in return the WWE was responsible for all advertising, except a bare minimum for the local affiliates – less than 3 minutes per hour. Normally, the local affiliate gets 7 Minutes an Hour.

    When UPN and WB ceased operations (as they put it), the CW took the same deal. From an operational stand point, SmackDown did not feed promos or provide audio on a regular basis as other network shows. (For example, we would receive 10 or so different length and different content promotional video for EVERY network program, with the exception of SmackDown. There were no promotional videos fed with the daily network closed circuit.

    Either way, this move is a good one for SmackDown as USA Network is rumored to be the leading candidate for the new home of SmackDown. It frees them of restrictions placed upon them by being on a broadcast (Over-The-Air) channel.

  • Don said,

    UPDATE – I stand corrected… A story in Nedia Post ( http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.san&s=76169&Nid=39224&p=353706 ) explains the story. At first, it was a paid program, then over the years it converted to a regular program. Local affiliates still had reduced local time and the network did not promote SmackDown, nor did they encourage the affiliates to promote at the same level as other shows.