WWE will begin airing SmackDown LIVE on The FOX Network each and every Friday night starting October 4th, 2019. FOX Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier described the move as “short term” back in February, but since then, there have been few details to explain what he exactly meant.
On a recent edition of The Wrestling Observer Radio Program, Dave Meltzer revealed that there is now talk within The WWE to potentially add a third hour to SmackDown LIVE once it makes the transition over to Friday nights on FOX. The feeling among higher ups is that since they have to continue filming for 205 Live, a show that never grew as successful as WWE hoped, it may be beneficial to do the expected first two hours from 8PM – 10PM on FOX and then continue from 10PM – 11PM on FOX’s affiliate, FS1.
WWE can reportedly gain more than $50,000,000 a year from FOX if this is the route they ultimately choose to take. It is by no means a done deal at this point, but the momentum backstage apparently has people within the financial community expecting this aspect of the deal to come together.
It was noted however that there wasn’t much discussion about doing a three hour show until FS1 lost it’s UFC programming to the multi-year deal between ESPN & UFC. Adding more WWE programming could be one way that FOX can potentially counter that loss.