It was widely expected but finally confirmed this week when it was announced that SmackDown Live will be a part of FOX's Friday TV lineup. It will debut on October 4 and occupy the same time slot as it does currently on Tuesdays on USA Network.
Fridays are typically the worst days for TV ratings, but WWE President George Barrios attempted to put a positive spin on the move during a fireside chat this week at the 47th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference in Boston.
"It's hard to compare," Barrios said referencing when SmackDown aired on Fridays from 2005-2015. "We have been on Friday nights before but we've never been live. We think it's a net positive, generally. Having a few days between [Raw and SmackDown] is helpful to some degree. But ultimately, we'll see how the fans react. But we think it's a generally positive thing happening."
SmackDown started out on Thursdays before moving to Fridays. It then moved back to Thursdays briefly before moving to Tuesdays in 2016.
As Barrios mentioned, this will be the first time the show will air live on Fridays. In regards to if SmackDown will air on a tape delay on the West Coast, Barrios deferred to FOX.
"Our partners are still working through that. If you look at today, depending on who the provider is, even with USA, in terms of live on satellite is different than on cable. So, I think FOX will work through that themselves as well. I don't think they've announced it, so we're not gonna announce it," stated Barrios.
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