Before I get started in my analysis of the WWE moving SmackDown to SyFy, I'd ike to first thank you all. I noticed this morning that I surpassed one million reads. There are other writers who have reached this mark, so I am not the first and won't be the last. But it really means a lot to me. Thank you all for continuing to read my stuff, I truly appreciate it.
Now, to the article.
As many of us know by now, the WWE has decided to move their blue brand, SmackDown, to SyFy this October. Now, this will be the first time the show has been on cable weekly.
There is no doubt that the WWE likes SmackDown and what it has done for them on regular programming. However, because of the digital transition, the fact that now far more people have cable/satellite, and the market is bigger for them on cable than on MyNetwork, the entertainment giant decided it was time to move.
SmackDown has been on a total of three networks since its inception, UPN, The CW, and MyNetwork TV.
The WWE has been seemingly screwed over its time by a few networks, one being Spike TV and the other being the CW. UPN merged with the WB to create the CW, and by proxy, SmackDown went to the channel during its normal time. Once it arrived, it became the CW's top show.
The CW then dropped it, despite how big it was for the network.
It was the same thing Spike did with WWE RAW a small while before. RAW was its top show, and one of the biggest shows on cable period, but it claims to have dropped RAW because of its direction.
It kinda makes no sense when you think about it now, seeing as it was made into a guy's network and has the UFC and now TNA Wrestling. Yet neither program has been able to reach the ratings RAW brought in for them.
The fact is that corporate morons don't feel wrestling is needed, so they drop them much of the time. NBC however has seen its success and realizes how huge it can be for them, which is why USA picked RAW up.
SyFy then picked up ECW from the WWE, as SyFy is apart of the NBC Universal gene pool. Later NXT was picked up by the channel. We now are going to see SmackDown move there this fall.
The move will be quite good for both the WWE and SyFy. SyFy will have a huge ratings high on Friday Night, and the WWE will only increase its ratings. MyNetwork TV wasn't a large market for them where as SyFy is.
There is talk of reloading SmackDown in October when the move is set to take place, so seeing the likes of Edge and Chris Jericho back on the program wouldn't be far fetched.
MyNetwork TV was dropping SmackDown in certain markets, and to keep certain names out there still, the WWE decided to moved a few top names to RAW until the move.
Many believe the reason the WWE never did a live SmackDown show was because of the schedule they had, and the fact that regular channels could always have to push them back for some reason, whether it be for a weather update, high school football game, or what have you.
Cable doesn't do that normally, especially for a primetime show.
Therefore, seeing a live SmackDown would be easy for them to do if they wanted to really make SmackDown huge. I do understand that it would be hard on the WWE schedule, but with them already doing a house show on Friday and knowing how to put on a live show every week anyway, what could it hurt?
With them now being on cable, it would be far easier to do a live show. SmackDown averages in the 2's right now. It's not bad for Friday night at all, especially this time of year.
But the average could go up like it once was. Also keep in mind that TvO and DVR now count for ratings if the person who records the show watches it within a certain period of time.
Also, asking for more time on a show is easy as well because of the cable end of things, something they couldn't do before.
Basically in my opinion is better for the WWE as a whole to have moved SmackDown to SyFy rather than keeping it on MyNetwork TV. NBC Universal also owns SyFy out right, not the same case with MyNetwork TV.
The only reason they let them go there anyway was because MyNetwork TV wasn't a real threat to them. SyFy gives the WWE more pub, more everything really. And it's not as important to be on a local channel like that anymore as it was 10 or so years ago.
It's obvious the WWE could do far more with SmackDown now being on cable, but will they is the question most want answered.
I, for one, think the WWE will think about the live show, it can be done, the WWE has proven it so in the past.
I highly doubt the WWE will change it's programming though, so don't think SmackDown will suddenly be TV-14 because it's on SyFy.
The one thing I will look forward to is the visual.
SyFy is far better looking on TV than MyNetwork TV is. MNTV could barely get in HD, and because of that, the channel doesn't look great. However, SyFy looks wonderful. As a TV Broadcasting student, you notice these things, but I digress.
SmackDown's move to cable opens up more avenues for the WWE than not, and I named a simple few. What do you think the WWE could do?
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