WWE News: More Bad News For WWE From Fox Sports Regarding Smackdown Viewership
The panic mode is on for the WWE officials heading into a big moment waiting for them in the fall of 2019. Smackdown is moving to more mainstream network Fox Sports which is indeed a piece of exciting news for the company. But in return of those one billion dollars, per year, they have to give back a large number of viewerships which looks impossible, at this point.
Both WWE Raw and Smackdown witnessed massive drops in terms of recent TV ratings. As pressure kept on mounting on WWE officials, Vince McMahon had to introduce the wild card rule for the roster. He expected to increase some viewership and interest due to this rule. The invading kind of rule was able to pull up the ratings to a little bit, this week which is not enough.
The wild card rule of WWE will allow four RAW Superstars to appear on Smackdown each week while four Smackdown Superstars can appear on RAW each week. This makes things interesting to a short extent as the audience will expect surprise appearances on a cross-brand basis. But then again, the brand split would not be of that much in effect causing superstars to appear on both the shows.
However, WWE is not having many choices at this point since they have received an ultimatum from Fox Sports. As a future host of the Smackdown Live show, they want Smackdown to have a minimum viewer of 3 million or more. Otherwise, they could cancel the deal leaving Vince McMahon high and dry. Here’s more on this carried in a report by wwfoldschool.com,
“According to Slice Wrestling, FOX officials have made it clear to WWE that SmackDown needs to have at least 3 million viewers per episode to avoid the risk of cancellation. WWE’s TV viewership has dropped by about 40% since last year and last week’s SmackDown drew less than 2 million viewers, so things aren’t looking good for WWE right now.”
Fox Sports is desperate to fill up the void left by UFC programming now that they have moved into a different network. WWE Smackdown seemed to be a perfect option for them which may produce some spin-off series as well in the near future with a humongous deal of five billion in total for five years. But in return, they want to have the maximum profit that one could only imagine. It will be interesting to see if WWE can deliver as per the expectations.
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