WWE SmackDown Live will be preempted from its normal timeslot on FOX on Friday, October 25th for Game 3 of the World Series.
As previously reported, SmackDown will air 51 weeks per year in its normal timeslot on FOX with the preemption. It is not known if WWE will air SmackDown after the World Series game, or if it will be broadcast on FS1 that week.
WWE has been touting the upcoming move to FOX as a game changer. During the WWE Q2 earnings call last month, WWE Co-President Michelle Wilson discussed FOX being available in 35% more homes than USA Network, and noted how they will be promoting the company.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with FOX,” Wilson said (h/t to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.) “In terms of exactly what they’re going to do, for any of you that have been watching NASCAR or any of the other broadcast that FOX has been doing, they’re already promoting SmackDown through integration into their current broadcasts. That will be dialed up significantly as we get into the month of September.
“Obviously, as we talked about in the past, they put together one of the strongest promotional plans I’ve seen in my time in terms of leveraging their Thursday night football packages, what they have with baseball and what they do with NASCAR. So on their sports side, absolutely in every major sports broadcast that they have, WWE SmackDown will be promoted. In addition to that, they obviously have strong programming on the entertainment side. So it won’t be exclusive to just FOX Sports, it will also be their entertainment programming as well. They’re also looking to integrate us into their programming organically. I’m not going to get into the specific detail around the economic value of what they’re promoting but suffice it to say, that it is significant and to Vince’s point earlier, given the number of households they reach, this is 35% higher than what we do on USA Network.”
WWE SmackDown Live will debut on FOX on Friday, October 4th.