USA network will be making a major change to their programming that will undoubtedly bring in more revenue as they will now be picking up WWE’s Smackdown for live programming. Starting July 19, USA will be airing the long running program from 8pm to 10pm each Tuesday. The show was previously on Syfy and had a taped airing, but with television networks yearning for more live programming, the move was only fitting. WWE’s other flagship program, the three hour Monday Night Raw, has always aired live, now allowing USA to air 5 hours of live WWE programming each week of the year.
According to Variety, many television networks have had an emphasis on live broadcasts, namely sporting events such as the Olympics or the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. With live programs, viewers are unable to sift through the commercial advertisements with DVR, thus allowing networks to charge a premium for live advertising slots.
WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon:
“WWE’s flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV. This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.”
With the WWE’s biggest stars John Cena and Seth Rollins set to make their long awaited returns from injury, this is the perfect time for the company to focus more on shifting their content. Furthermore, WWE will be doing a draft, in order to decide which wrestlers on their roster will be working with which brand, Monday Night Raw or Smackdown. Each show will have it’s on set of talent, writing staff and more.