Breaking News: WWE SmackDown! Moving to the SyFy Network

Benjamin BenyaCorrespondent IIApril 13, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 28: M.V.P. pins  Dolph Ziggler during a match at WWE SmackDown at Madison Square Garden on April 28, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by George Napolitano/Getty Images)
George Napolitano/Getty Images


After a decade on network television and nearly 25 years represented on an over-the-air syndicate, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that World Wrestling Entertainment will be moving the Friday Night SmackDown! entity to the SyFy Network this October.

Though the details are still being worked out and confirmed, WWE is expected to make the announcement official next week.

Rumor has it that the deal promises to pay the WWE $30 million for the distribution rights to the program, whereas their current deal with MyNetworkTV pays only $20 million.

Clearly, the WWE feels they are better off relocating one of their most widespread and watched programs to a network that a majority of households receive.

WWE's NXT program already airs on the SyFy Network, which underwent a major re-branding itself this past year.

WWE has provided SyFy, a subsidiary of NBC Universal (with whom the WWE does nearly all of it's television business dealings), with professional wrestling progam in limited success since 2006 with the debut of ECW.

When ECW folded and was replaced by NXT, it was believed to be done to appease SyFy executives who were tired of the same old routine they had been getting with low ratings on Tuesdays.

SyFy had better prepare for two more hours of the reported "same old wrestling" on Friday Nights this Fall.

Moving from network television seems like an abhorrently awful idea from all angles, as it cuts mainstream media exposure in nearly all markets and forces you to exclusively have cable or satellite in order to view the WWE product.

On the other hand, the relocation could prove to be a financial success for the WWE given the extra pay raise and hopeful support to the "new" SyFy channel.

Also, if the WWE is to continue broadcasting intermittent Saturday Night's Main Event programs on NBC, the importance of such an appearance on the major networks will increase tenfold.

More details on this story will follow, but for now, I'd like to hear your side of the story.