Backstage News On Smackdown Getting A Third HourMarch 31, 2019
Right now RAW is three hours on Mondays and Smackdown is two on Tuesdays but in the fall it could be three hours on Fridays.
On October 4th the first episode of Smackdown on FOX will take place from the Staples Center from Los Angeles and at first thought, one would think there is no way Smackdown can do three hours on the actual FOX network and you would be right. Yet, there could be a plan to get the third hour of Smackdown but not have to change the FOX 10pm news.
According to Dave Meltzer on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer stated that an idea being tossed around is to do two hours of Smackdown on FOX and then run a third hour of the show over on FS1. Meltzer went on to state that this is not him just coming up with an idea or just saying something, but this is something indicated to him that has been talked about. One reason for this is with FOX Sports losing all their UFC content they need more content on FS1 and they may want that from WWE.
As WWE is considered, Meltzer stated that WWE is already doing three-hour tapings anyways with Smackdown and 205 Live, not he did not say this but indicated that if a third hour was to come to Smackdown, the third-hour tapings could take place of 205 Live. Whether that means 205 Live s taped before Smackdown or done away with all together is unclear.
If this does happen with two hours on FOX and one on FS1 there are two major issues. The first would be just getting people to change the channel to FS1. Some could stay on FOX for the news or some may not know the channel number for FS1 and have to flip channels to find it and then maybe come upon something else that catches their eye instead. The major issues though have to do with the biggest advantage of being on FOX in the first place.
With Smackdown being on FOX people without cable and only has an antenna plugged into their TV can now watch Smackdown. Right now Smackdown does in the low two million in the ratings. Let’s say being on over the air television they can gain an extra million viewers a week that only watch with an antenna. If those antenna viewers cannot switch over to FS1 that could be a million viewers drop in the third hour that would look bad to advertisers.
Now, remember this is only something being talked about and not something set in stone. Smackdown does not move to FOX until October so there is plenty of time to get everything situated for the move.