Dave Meltzer Discusses Likelihood Of WWE SmackDown Staying On Friday Night

"WWE SmackDown" will conclude its time on FOX this September as WWE's blue brand prepares to move back to the USA Network for the first time since 2019. The move to the USA Network was set to coincide with the departure of "WWE Raw," as the red brand's deal with the network was set to expire at the same time. However, WWE agreed a deal with the USA Network worth $25 Million for the show to remain in its regular slot until the end of the year.


While "Raw" has remained on Monday nights for its entire run on TV, "SmackDown" has been much more flexible, occupying Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights during its 25 years on the air. This is something that Dave Meltzer touched on in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter as he feels keeping "SmackDown" on Friday nights wouldn't be beneficial for WWE or the USA Network.

Meltzer explained that USA won't have another show on its roster that will draw the amount of viewers "SmackDown" will, but placing the show on a Friday night could cost WWE around 20% or more in viewership. This wasn't an issue on FOX as that channel reaches more homes, and WWE will do better on USA than they did when they had to move to FS1 on select occasions. With that said, Meltzer doesn't think WWE being on a Friday night will help USA as much as any other night besides Saturday due to the level of competition from other sports all year round.


The USA Network is reportedly paying more money for "SmackDown" than it was for "Raw," despite getting one hour's less worth of programming, according to Meltzer. However, he didn't rule out the possibility of a third hour being added to "SmackDown" to make up for the potential lost viewership.