SmackDown Live Debuts on FOX Sports in October 2019
Don't forget to make the switch on Fridays
FOX is picking up SmackDown Live for the first time ever, and the popular event is coming to the network starting next fall. FOX confirmed that October 4th 2019 will be the first airing of SmackDown Live on the network, and the show will be airing every Friday after that. The network will broadcast WWE’s flagship program as part of a new five-year agreement with FOX Sports, and there are going to be a lot of episodes in those five years.
The weekly, two-hour live event will air 52 weeks a year and “captivate fans with a unique combination of edge-of-your-seat action, unpredictable drama and world-class athleticism,” according to the network’s announcement. That gives fans new action within the ring every week, and having FOX Sports as the new home could make it easier for fans to stream the event on their favorite devices.
“At FOX we are thrilled to welcome WWE to the FOX Sports family and bring SmackDown Live to broadcast television,” said Eric Shanks, President, COO and Executive Producer FOX Sports. “We are huge fans and know that together FOX Sports will be the leader in live events for the foreseeable future.”
“WWE and FOX are a perfect match,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “Moving SmackDown Live to broadcast TV and having the ability to leverage FOX’s extensive portfolio of world-class sporting events will expand the reach of our flagship programming.”
The show itself has had an amazing run over time. The event has been broadcast for almost 20 years at this point and the show has had nearly 1,000 episodes. SmackDown Live is the second-longest running weekly episodic cable television show in U.S. primetime history, only behind Monday Night Raw, which we all know is sometimes the best there is. SmackDown Live is currently among the most-watched, regularly scheduled programs on primetime cable and delivers more viewers in primetime than any cable network in the U.S. (2.9 million average viewers). That’s probably why FOX is so excited to get the show for the next five years, and fill it with their adverts.
SmackDown Live has also helped launch the careers of pop-culture icons including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, Undertaker, Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Bella Twins. Fans of the Bella can currently relive the drama that is the John Cena wedding disruption on E!.