A Major Update On The SmackDown!/MyNetworkTV Situation


Back on February 9th, NewsCorp, claiming economic hardship announced that they had dropped the "network status" of MyNetworkTV, and were going to re-brand the channel with "hybrid programming." Basically all original programming is being suspended, with the exception of WWE Smackdown.

Some have thought that this would eventually be bad for WWE, because these cost cutting measures are seen as the beginning of the end for the network. If MyNetworkTV fails or if the WWE does not renew their deal with the network when it expires, the backup plan is for Smackdown to move to the WGN Network. WWE signed the deal with WGN for the Superstars program with this in mind.

If MyNetworkTV happens to go under, the Tribune Company, the parent company of WGN, owns a number of stations around the country. These include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas and Washington DC. WGN doesn't have penetration in some of these areas, but they do have CW affiliates, which look for Saturday night programming. That means Smackdown could air on Saturday nights in those markets if the move is made. Sources within the WWE have confirmed that the company would work hard to secure stations where WGN is not a carrier to ensure a large national audience.

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