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27.8.14 2028
The W - Pro Wrestling - No more Smackdown on the CW
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Kane Is Ugly
Kishke








Since: 14.7.03
From: Uglyville

Since last post: 2368 days
Last activity: 2354 days
#1 Posted on
WWE SmackDown Leaves CW

STAMFORD, Conn., February 7, 2008 - The following statement was issued today by World Wrestling Entertainment

After a successful decade of "SmackDown" on both UPN and The CW, World Wrestling Entertainment and The CW have agreed to conclude our partnership. Since The CW's exclusive negotiation period ran out as of last Thursday, January 31, we have been contacted and have been in negotiations with other networks. "WWE SmackDown" will continue to air on The CW until the conclusion of the 2007-08 broadcast season. We are grateful to Les Moonves, Dawn Ostroff, and their entire organization for bringing "WWE SmackDown" to millions of viewers for so many years.


Anyone got any guess where they land? I doubt any of the other big networks will give up a 2 hour block for wrestling.


(edited by Kane Is Ugly on 7.2.08 2359)
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PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 646 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.77
Wow.

I really don't see where they could go. Neither Disney or Time Warner will have any interest, leaving basically Fox and NBC Uni. The latter already is happy to have Raw on USA and at least cordial about ECW on SciFi, but I don't see where else they have room for SmackDown (including USA.) That leaves FX and, if you want to still include Viacom even though WWE is ditching them here...

SpikeTV. I would have my doubts about that one, though.

I question if there won't just be a slight reduction in license fees and the show stays right where it is.



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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
Well, before we're all up in arms, let's remember that we're now talking seven months away, so there's plenty of time for haggling. I feel like "contacted by other networks" might be a work. Let's assume it wouldn't be another night on USA. What other NBC/Uni networks aren't airing WWE at the moment? Well, NBC, sure...that's unlikely. CNBC? Ratings would be better than the reruns they air to nobody during prime time now, but that seems doubtful. MSNBC? Nah. Bravo? A couple years ago I would have said yes, but they've gone pretty gay in the meantime. That leaves... Versus. Zero viewers, hard to find on the dial, but I could totally see some exec thinking that WWE could make that network. Plus they have an HD channel. How that might reschedule NHL and the Tour de France repeats would be left as a depressing exercise for the reader. Plus, their lower visibility would REALLY hurt the brand in the short-term - of course, the Sci Fi hour could be promoted to a Smackdown property help fix that.

Let's assume it ISN'T a work and other folks are actually interested in WWE programming. What's left on the dial? MyTV seems unlikely - in fact, it's about 50/50 odds on them being gone by the time the contract it up. FX seems unlikely, but I suppose it could be a fit. TBS or TNT would be a real trip, but I'm not sure they have wrestling-friendly execs in place at the moment. Is there anybody else? MOJO? The federated states of FSN?

Hopefully DaMeltz will have some background in the next couple weeks (if not later today).



SchippeWreck
Banger








Since: 26.3.03
From: Glendale, CA

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.89
If they do go elsewhere, you have to figure G4 is a likely candidate. But I don't know who owns them and I'm fairly certain they don't have HD.



"It's magic! We don't need to explain it!"
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.21

    That leaves... Versus. Zero viewers, hard to find on the dial, but I could totally see some exec thinking that WWE could make that network. Plus they have an HD channel. How that might reschedule NHL and the Tour de France repeats would be left as a depressing exercise for the reader. Plus, their lower visibility would REALLY hurt the brand in the short-term - of course, the Sci Fi hour could be promoted to a Smackdown property help fix that.


If things get really dire, ECW on Sci-Fi might just become Smackdown (provided that Sci-Fi can be talked into providing an extra hour) and ECW will become no more. There's enough talent-sharing between the two shows anyway that the lines have already been blurred between the brands.



How is it that I am a good actor? What I do is I... pretend to be the person Im portraying. Youre confused. Case in point: in Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson comes to me and says I would like you to be Gandalf the Wizard, and I said You are aware that I am not really a wizard? and Peter Jackson said I would like you to use your acting skills to portray a wizard for the duration of the show. So I said Okay and then I said to myself Mmm.. How do I do that? And this is what I did: I imagined that I was a wizard, and then I pretended, and acted, in that way on the stage. How did I know what to say? The words were written down for me in a script. How did I know where to stand? People told me where to stand." -- Sir Ian McKellen, Extras
thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
I don't think it's a sure think ECW on SciFi will be sticking around past their current contract, but we'll see.

G4 is Comcast owned. As is Versus. Both are in similar spots to where TNN was before the WWE jump that time, though I think these two have better defined niches (in terms of what they want to be - TNN was still in the process of shredding it's old ID) but seem to be picked up in less places. I don't think G4 is enough homes to be considered and I'm not sure Versus is either, but they seem to be the best bet. I wonder if someone in the WWE is flipping thru the channels on their hotel room TV tonight, to see if Versus is included.

I wonder if Spike would dump TNA to make a move here? Meltzer has suggested previous the RAW contract is timed to come up just around when the TNA deal does. He's not suggesting WWE plans to leave USA, but to use Spike as leverage.

I'd be shocked if USA took the show.

SmackDown on network TV made it a lot farther than would've been expected. It was never meant to be more than training wheels for UPN (and later CN), saving them from producing more programming on one day of the week without having to run a movie (or a second movie night in the Thursday night days.) I'm sure many now-ex heads of the networks figured they'd ax the wrestling once they got the rest of the schedule going smooth, and SmackDown's continued existence is a testament to the lack of audience most other shows on their network. I wasn't sure SD would make the move to CN and was surprised when they made it past the first year. Time had to run out.



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AlbySure
Boerewors








Since: 10.12.01
From: LA

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.90
They've already, seemingly, been prepping ECW to go online-only with all the Hardcover Hangovers and X-Streams. So it's possible they'll try that if Smackdown goes to Sci Fi.

It's hard to picture alternatives that won't be a step down for WWE. As lame and unnecessary as Smackdown has often seemed over the years, it's at least always had the cachet of being on a broadcast network, albeit a rarely-watched one. It gave at least the illusion of credibility to things. Going from that to an obscure cable channel would be hard to spin in a positive manner.
Jackson
Sujuk








Since: 4.1.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.85
When does TNA's deal with Spike run out?




Karlos the Jackal
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The City of Subdued Excitement

Since last post: 27 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
I wonder if they'll try and make a move back to Thursday nights. That would be interesting.

--K



Last 5 movies seen: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford **** - Juno **** - Atonement **** - Chameleon Street *** - Sweeney Todd **1/2
Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 395 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
I'm interested to know The CW's side. It seems strange to not want to keep what was the 3rd most watched show on your network, so unless WWE wanted a bunch more money, I'd consider it a mistake for The CW.
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 71 days
Last activity: 38 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.35

it's also funny to remember that the UPN show was originally scheduled to be "all divas."

funny that there's a rumor that TNA might be doing the same thing.



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Andouille








Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 7 days
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.39
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
    I'm interested to know The CW's side. It seems strange to not want to keep what was the 3rd most watched show on your network, so unless WWE wanted a bunch more money, I'd consider it a mistake for The CW.


I think the old "network doesn't own the show, makes no money from PPV/live events/merch, has to share ad revenues, ad revenues they do share aren't that lucrative as wrestling doesn't bring in high-income demos" argument applies to any lack of interest in WWE programming qunadry.

(edited by Hogan's My Dad on 8.2.08 0718)


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RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.17
They do have their own television channel. And it would help if they would pull the trigger and make it available everywhere; the future is now!

FLEA



Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high
kentish
Andouille








Since: 19.8.05
From: My Old Kentucky Home

Since last post: 13 days
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.76
I know there isn't much on network TV right now with the strike, but that doesn't mean they will "lower themselves" to the level of pro wrestling in prime time. I think the easiest solution would be merging with ECW and getting a second hour on Sci-Fi. It's definitely an upgrade for Sci-Fi. At least that would get Coach out of the announcers booth.




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Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.54
    Originally posted by CRZ
    Bravo? A couple years ago I would have said yes, but they've gone pretty gay in the meantime.


Project Runway just did a cross-promotion with the WWE, as the last challenge involved designing outfits for the WWE divas.

Yes, I watch Project Runway - because MY GIRLFRIEND MAKES ME.




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odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 71 days
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.33
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    They do have their own television channel. And it would help if they would pull the trigger and make it available everywhere; the future is now!

    FLEA


Here's an interesting idea: Would they turn SD into a weekly PPV show?

Would people pay, say, $5 a week to watch SD, maybe if it had more of the stars (Cena, HHH, Michaels) on it?



Mark Coale
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ironcladlou
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Quincy, MA

Since last post: 2208 days
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.23
    Originally posted by Leroy
      Originally posted by CRZ
      Bravo? A couple years ago I would have said yes, but they've gone pretty gay in the meantime.


    Project Runway just did a cross-promotion with the WWE, as the last challenge involved designing outfits for the WWE divas.

    Yes, I watch Project Runway - because MY GIRLFRIEND MAKES ME.


Me too. Though I started her on watching Sex and the City. That show was funny as shit.



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Texas Kelly
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Since: 3.1.02
From: FOREST HILLS CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.23
Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you...

    Originally posted by Leroy
      Originally posted by CRZ
      Bravo? A couple years ago I would have said yes, but they've gone pretty gay in the meantime.


    Project Runway just did a cross-promotion with the WWE, as the last challenge involved designing outfits for the WWE divas.

    Yes, I watch Project Runway - because MY GIRLFRIEND MAKES ME.

I gotta think Bravo would be the favorite. As Leroy points out, they've done co-promotions in the past with the E. Smackdown would allow them to expand their demographic beyond mid-level adults (25-54) and get young adults watching shows like Project Runway (especially teenage girls). Plus, it's the only major cable channel under the NBC Universal umbrella that *doesn't* have the E on it.



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While the switch from Cena to RVD should alleviate some complaints, the inevitability of the belt's return to Cena (note where Summerslam is this year) and the poor initial showing by the new ECW are enough to keep the indicator where it is for now. The pieces are in place, though, especially on RAW, for improvements to be made to the IWC's psyche in the near future.
Peter The Hegemon
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Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

Since last post: 6 hours
Last activity: 6 hours
#19 Posted on
Is there a reason no one has mentioned MyNetwork? That would seem to me the most logical place for it. It's sort of like being back on UPN, and MyNetwork could certainly use a show that has, like, viewers.

It should be pointed out that WWE's contract with NBC prohibits them from going to a basic cable network that isn't NBC-owned--which means that FX, Spike, Vs., and so on are out, unless they can get NBC to waive that clause. That wouldn't apply to MyNetwork, though. Or, for that matter, to Ion, which I suppose could be their backup plan if MyNetwork doesn't work out.
CRZ
Big Brother
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by Peter The Hegemon
    Is there a reason no one has mentioned MyNetwork? That would seem to me the most logical place for it. It's sort of like being back on UPN, and MyNetwork could certainly use a show that has, like, viewers.
I poopoo'd them back in post #3 but apparently reports of their upcoming demise have been greatly exaggerated. Earlier this week, they announced they were picking up their first scripted sitcom starring - you guessed it - Flavor Flav (news.yahoo.com). That's 13 episodes. If they'll air THAT - and it seems that their most popular show now is "Jail" - how far off could Smackdown really be on the network?

If THAT'S the case, I'd think they'd try really hard to get back on Thursdays. Given that MyTV is airing movies on Thursdays AND Fridays at the moment, it wouldn't be too hard for Smackdown to take either, so you'd think they'd try to get them to agree to give up Thursday as a negotiating point. Of course, they may have to give up some up-front rights fees in return....

Also, I don't know where I got that NBC had a stake in Versus - I think I must have read more into the NHL thing or something.

I didn't think about this earlier either, but in a perfect world I wouldn't mind getting some replays on Universal HD.



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