WWE Smackdown will be moving to USA Network in 2016. This will mark the first time in the company’s history that Raw and Smackdown will be broadcast on the same channel. No indication was given whether Smackdown will be staying on Thursdays or not.
Smackdown began in 1999 on broadcast TV Thursday Nights via the UPN Network. It has since been on two other separate broadcast networks (The CW and My Network TV) before moving to cable. Since 2010 it has been part of Syfy’s programming lineup. USA will mark the fifth network the program will be part of.
WWE released the following press release about the move:
SmackDown Moves to USA Network in 1Q2016, Joining Raw and WWE Tough Enough
NEW YORK, NY and STAMFORD, CONN – April 7, 2015 – USA is expanding its commitment to the live action entertainment company WWE, bringing SmackDown to the network in the first quarter of 2016. Now the exclusive cable home to WWE marquee properties, USA airs the powerhouse Monday Night Raw live 52 weeks a year and the reality competition series WWE Tough Enough, which returns this summer in a reimagined format with live elements.
“WWE consistently delivers one of the largest and most socially engaged live audiences in entertainment and we’re excited to expand our long-standing relationship and be the true cable home for the WWE fan,” said USA Network President Chris McCumber.
“WWE is proud to have SmackDown join Raw as part of our expanded partnership with USA Network,” said WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Vince McMahon. “The combination of the #1 cable network and two ratings juggernauts provides a destination for our viewers and an extraordinary platform for our partners.”
Earlier this year, USA announced the renewal of WWE Tough Enough, premiering Tuesday, June 23 at 8/7c. The reimagined series will feature an all-new format with live elements and more fan participation than ever before. In addition, WWE recently unveiled a new brand campaign “For The Hero In All of Us,” that engages consumers through #MyHeroIs, inviting fans to name their favorite WWE Superstars and share personal and inspirational stories of heroism.
Monday Night Raw on USA is the most-watched, regularly scheduled, year-round program on cable, airing a live three-hour block every Monday night, 52 weeks a year. Raw has been a cable mainstay for more than 20 years and is consistently a top ten show on television. Year-to-date Raw averages 1.95MM P18-49, 2.02MM P25-54 and 4.43MM total viewers P2+ and SmackDown averages 1.1MM P18-49, 1.22MM P25-54, and 2.86MM total viewers P2+. In 2014, Raw and SmackDown reached 55.9MM total viewers P2+.
With more than 800 original episodes, SmackDown is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history, only behind Monday Night Raw. Over the past 15 years, SmackDown has been broadcast from 170 different venues, in 148 cities, in seven different countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Japan, Italy and Mexico.
About USA Network:
USA Network, the leader in cable entertainment, offers a powerful stable of dramatic, comedic and unscripted originals in more than 102 million U.S. homes. The network also features spectacular live television, a dynamic portfolio of acquired series and the best in blockbuster theatrical films and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. USA’s award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 35 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all 12 live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 175 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.
Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.