Fox, WWE bullish over SmackDown start on network

November 14, 2019

Speaking at an industry conference this week, Fox and the WWE are pleased with the ratings.  The feeling from the parties is that “Friday Night SmackDown” “reaches a much broader audience than many people realize.

Despite the fact that the overall ratings have trended down and usually third in networks ratings behind CBS, ABC and NBC, its pull of the adult 18-49 demo has proven to be a success.  At the Endeavor Streaming Sports Media & Technology Conference, Fox Sports CEO & Executive Producer and WWE co-President Michelle Wilson offered a joint talk about the partnership.

Wilson noted that “35-50% of the viewing audience are women” and its “multi-generational.”  Shanks and Wilson indicated that they wanted SmackDown to move Friday as a way to position the network for “owning the weekend.”  One of the obstacles, WWE is realizing is securing venues on Fridays since it is competing with NBA and NHL dates in most cities.

Shanks also noted that Vince McMahon has been receptive to new ways to shoot SmackDown.

While the cynical may see the comments as a way to promote the show at an industry conference with overlooking the decline in ratings week-to-week, the fact it is securing the A18-49 demo is all that seems to matter here.

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