Update On WWE SmackDown’s Friday Night Future On FOX
FOX has announced its upcoming fall lineup, and they remain committed to “WWE SmackDown” on Friday nights. Among the various announcements of premieres and renewals in a new press release, a single line read “FOX’s WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN continues on Fridays (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) throughout the season.”
FOX signed a deal with WWE in June of 2018 to broadcast the blue brand on FOX and FS1, with the show debuting on October 4th, 2019. The five-year agreement is up in 2024. While “SmackDown” stopped broadcasting on FS1 in 2021, FOX-proper has remained committed to the program, and FS1 is still home to the show on nights when baseball or other sporting events get in the way.
“WWE SmackDown” has been a ratings victory for FOX. The show is regularly at the top of the Friday night ratings, with this past Friday’s episode doing its best viewership in the 18-49 demographic since April.
WWE’s relationship with FOX is relatively new. Outside of the current broadcasting deal, the two companies had not worked together since November 14th, 1992, when FOX presented the final “WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event,” until the program’s return in 2006. “WWE SmackDown” originally premiered on UPN in 1999, before moving to MyNetwork/The CW in 2006, then to the SyFy Network in 2010, the USA Network in 2015, and finally it’s current home on FOX.