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The W - Pro Wrestling - UPN to cancel SMACKDOWN!
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Since: 27.1.04
From: Philly

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.16
http://www.pwinsider.com/ViewArticle.asp?id=7953&p=1

This is a huge blow to the WWE. I guess Spike will pick it up or whatever network they move to next.
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Since: 21.4.03
From: Houston, Tx

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#2 Posted on
Heck, since I can't get UPN, I won't miss it. I hope they don't try to keep it alive. Pull the plug and bring the roster to Raw where they can't bring some freshness to the story lines.
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
If by cancel you mean not creating a new business arrangement after the previous one ends.

So, the news is that at this time, a year before the contract ends, they are announcing that the show will not be brought back.

This could mean that it will not be back, or it could be a bargaining ploy by UPN.

Either way - eh. I'll freak out in a year if there isn't a WWE wrestling show on TV.



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Since: 30.10.04
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.48
Personally I can't wait a year for SmackDown to end.

Hopefully it'll just be a "kick in the head" to knock some sense into Vince. The odds, however, are not in the idea's favor.



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Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.55
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    If by cancel you mean not creating a new business arrangement after the previous one ends.


Gotta love those attention-grabbing and factually misleading headlines. Smells like Bob Ryder.

Anyway, I don't think Smackdown should have too much trouble finding a new home. Although not as profitable as a typical TV property, since Vince owns the show and that means a smaller cut of the ad revenue pie for UPN, there are still plenty of cable networks that don't have a single show, or if they do not many, that do a 3.5 every week.

And yes, I realize UPN is not a cable channel, but I think McMahon has much more leverage landing a deal with a cable network where he could say, for instance, that RAW has been in the top five even at its weakest. Smackdown would easily come in just above or below RAW, as, when you account for the difference in television penetration (UPN V.S. Spike, Network V.S. Cable), RAW does not get significantly more viewers than Smackdown.

Perhaps a return to USA would be in order? Could work. The move from networks could create a certain must-watch essence with the show, so long as they make a big deal out of it and suggest certain people will be back, certain trades will have been made, and generally spew some kind of "Smackdown will never be the same" hullaballoo.

And Smackdown, by the way, is nowhere near as bad as some people want to pretend it is.

(edited by Hogan's My Dad on 26.1.05 1622)


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Since: 5.3.03
From: TORONTO

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.51
It may not be on broadcast television after this is all and said and done -- but I'm reasonably certain the show will end up on another network without much of a problem. And probably still at the time slot to boot.

I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt this is the end of WWE or the SmackDown brand....



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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.97
Wow, that's pretty shocking. It doesn't seem to be an isssue of what WWE delivered with Smackdown - because their ratings are still the best on UPN, hands down - but rather the fact that UPN apparently doesn't think that wrestling fits into its programming. Which kind of begs the question of what does fit into their schedule, as that show is the only one on the whole network that has any kind of a following and a mainstream presence. In fact, I don't think I can name another show on UPN. Maybe a Star Trek spinoff?

Anyway, the good news is that this takes effect in, according to the Torch, Fall 2006, so WWE has plenty of time to find a new home for the show if that's what they want to do. Perhaps this works out for the best anyway because there's no guarantee that they're not going to take Raw off of Viacom's Spike TV, as the rumors have talked about them moving back to USA or even to TNT or TBS.

Of course, maybe this ends the brand split at some point. I'm personally a fan of the concept, but I haven't been a fan of the execution of it.
Freeway
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Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
Shareholder.com info about WWE television contracts. To summarize...

WWE/Viacom:
-RAW, Heat, Velocity, Experience [Expires "Fall 2005"]
-WWE gets $0.6 million per week as rights fee
WWE/UPN
-Smackdown [Expires "Fall 2006"]
-WWE gets $0.3 million per week as rights fee

I'm strongly expecting somebody (hell, anybody) on cable to make an offer for the rights.



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Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.76
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    Perhaps this works out for the best anyway because there's no guarantee that they're not going to take Raw off of Viacom's Spike TV, as the rumors have talked about them moving back to USA or even to TNT or TBS.


Definitely not TNT, which is a movie/film-arts/gay channel now, nor TBS, which is primarily promoting itself as a comedy channel. A comedy channel with next to no first-run material.

(edited by Hogan's My Dad on 26.1.05 1647)


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Since: 18.6.02
From: North Cacalacky

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.71
Well, it will be television producers that ultimately kill pro-wrestling. Right now it seems that RAW is safe with Spike promoting itself as the "guy network", but a single change in management could easily kill the WWE.

This is a really odd and totally out from left-field story. I won't get too worked up as anything could change in a year and, as Guru said, it could be just a bargaining tool by the network.

I wouldn't underestimate how easy it'll be for WWE to get a new station. Television producers haven't seen overly hot about picking up pro-wrestling over the past several years. WWE, of course, has a major advantage, but I don't think it'll be easy.



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Since: 20.8.03
From: New Jersey, USA

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
    Originally posted by Hogan's My Dad
    And yes, I realize UPN is not a cable channel, but I think McMahon has much more leverage landing a deal with a cable network where he could say, for instance, that RAW has been in the top five even at its weakest.


I'm not so sure that's true. It's not an entirely accurate parallel, but the central reason Bischoff did not buy WCW was because he couldn't secure a cable TV deal. On one hand, WWE is a stable franchise. But on the other, the business was hot enough in 2001 that the upside for landing WCW was potentially more significant. Either way, Nitro was still doing relatively well in the ratings. In short, the lack of networks willing to land SD kills most of the leverage McMahon thinks he has.

The issue, I think, comes down to the stigma attached to pro wrestling. By default, the top-rated show usually becomes what audiences associate with each network, and no network exec wants their network's flagship to be pro wrestling. While a show like Smackdown itself may be bringing in money-making ratings, it may be thwarting many people from taking the network as a whole seriously. Then again, I can't imagine a network with a history of shows like "Moesha" and "Homeboys in Outerspace" caring much about their credibility.

But I think UPN finally came to the conclusion that while Smackdown's ratings may be good (not sure if this is true, I don't follow this area much), the combination of much of the revenue going to McMahon, the show not getting wrestling fans to watch other UPN shows, and overall, Smackdown taking up a primetime Thursday slot and possibly stigmatizing the network even more so to the general audience, made the whole venture not worth it anymore. It was probably a borderline decision, but I can't fault them for trying.
Hogan's My Dad
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Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.76
I just want to add, and I won`t post again in this thread, that I find the stigmatization argument weak. Simple market research shows that wrestling fans are not particularly less educated than, say, football fans, and do not occupy a lower-income bracket than your average sports fan.

Now, I do realize there is a stigma and out-of-touch network executives may well think wrestling would make them look bad, but if they have other programs that are compelling and gain critical acclaim, people will watch. I doubt anyone not named Phil Mushnik would avoid, say, Arrested Development if it was on after Smackdown just because they hate wrestling. There`s stigmatization and there`s assuming people would develop vendettas over television shows, which the people who work in television don`t realize strikes normal, healthy human beings as retarded.



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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.21
    Originally posted by Hogan's My Dad
      Originally posted by Guru Zim
      If by cancel you mean not creating a new business arrangement after the previous one ends.


    Gotta love those attention-grabbing and factually misleading headlines. Smells like Bob Ryder.

    Anyway, I don't think Smackdown should have too much trouble finding a new home. Although not as profitable as a typical TV property, since Vince owns the show and that means a smaller cut of the ad revenue pie for UPN, there are still plenty of cable networks that don't have a single show, or if they do not many, that do a 3.5 every week.

    And yes, I realize UPN is not a cable channel, but I think McMahon has much more leverage landing a deal with a cable network where he could say, for instance, that RAW has been in the top five even at its weakest. Smackdown would easily come in just above or below RAW, as, when you account for the difference in television penetration (UPN V.S. Spike, Network V.S. Cable), RAW does not get significantly more viewers than Smackdown.

    Perhaps a return to USA would be in order? Could work. The move from networks could create a certain must-watch essence with the show, so long as they make a big deal out of it and suggest certain people will be back, certain trades will have been made, and generally spew some kind of "Smackdown will never be the same" hullaballoo.

    And Smackdown, by the way, is nowhere near as bad as some people want to pretend it is.

    (edited by Hogan's My Dad on 26.1.05 1622)


The 'must-watch' essence you speak of does little for those households who don't have cable or satellite access. I know it might sound strange, but there's still a large number of people still watching only network television and now the WWE will no longer be showing one of their *main* shows to that audience. Who knows how much of that group will still shell out money for house shows and merchandise when the WWE rolls into town. One would think this would be troublesome to Vince and stockholders as you never want your product to become less available to your consumers.





redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
The difference between cable and network TV: On Cable, a show can run virtually forever. On network, a show is eventually either going to get canceled or the stars are going to demand so much money the show ends up having a series finale. A 6 year run on a (quasi)network is pretty good, especially considering how many shows last less than a season. And, considering that the programming philosophy UPN has had since its inception has led to overall crap ratings, what do they have to lose by revamping their philosophy? This isn't CBS in the early 70's canceling Jim Nabors/Mayberry RFD/Green Acres/Petticoat Junction/Beverly Hillbillies despite good ratings because they didn't like being the 'hick' network.
This does lend credence to the theory that Vince will find a new home for his programming outside of the Viacom family come this fall. Personally, I'm in the 1 show category, as it would allow the writers to focus all of their energy in one direction and would provide a roster that doesn't need flotsam and jetsam to fill cards.
PerthHeat
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Since: 16.8.04
From: Perth Australia

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.40
Does this fuel the debate as to whether VKM buys a cable channel for his 24 hour wrestling station?

I understand there was a previous thread alluding to this on here a few months ago.

And why cant VKM buy a slot on Spike? They are on 2 different nights so there shouldnt be a time issue and Spike can cross promote both.



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Since: 5.7.03

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.89
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Personally, I'm in the 1 show category, as it would allow the writers to focus all of their energy in one direction and would provide a roster that doesn't need flotsam and jetsam to fill cards.


The problem is that with all the main event and near main event talent now on both shows,(HHH/HBK/Benoit/Jericho/Edge/Batista/Orton/Flair/Angle/JBL/Eddie/Undertaker/Big Show/Cena/Booker), you'd have almost no room for anyone else.



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Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.66
http://www.liveaudiowrestling.com/wo/news/headlines/default.asp?aID=12324


    Smackdown news

    Dave@wrestlingobserver.com

    Smackdown hasn't been canceled.




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Since: 18.6.02
From: North Cacalacky

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.71
I'm guessing Dave meant that SmackDown hasn't been CANCELLED but it was announced that (as of now) UPN is not planning to pick it back up after it's contract runs out in the fall of 2006.

Not a whole lof of elaboration there, though.



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Since: 5.7.03

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.89


Things like this and his "God, that was awful" one sentence Smackdown review are why I love Meltzer.



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Since: 6.1.02
From: Chicago, IL

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.82
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
    I know it might sound strange, but there's still a large number of people still watching only network television and now the WWE will no longer be showing one of their *main* shows to that audience. Who knows how much of that group will still shell out money for house shows and merchandise when the WWE rolls into town. One would think this would be troublesome to Vince and stockholders as you never want your product to become less available to your consumers.

This is ture. But what other network coul WWE fit with on a Thursday night?

CBS and NBC's thursday night line-up has worked for them for a number of years. I don't see them changing it to show WWE.

ABC is out of the question, becasue I doubt Disny wants to be associated with por wrestling

WB might work, but some areas do get the line-up per-empted for other sports. We all know what Vince thinks of his shows being pre-empted (Do the words "dog show" ring a bell?)

Fox could be the one. But they also show TNA on FSN. Doubt it matters. But it'd be like ABC airing the CSI shows, while ABC Family airing the Law and Order shows.

In the end I see Smackdown going nowhere. Staying on UPN. And all this was just a way for the UPN higer-ups to get a bigger cut from WWE (which they probaly won't get).
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See, that's why I think Brock might just bust out the SSP. He would get so much wrestling press for correctly hitting the SSP, and not just that, but hitting the SSP and then pinning the unbeatable Bill Goldberg.
- Torchslasher, Should Brock try the SSP at WMXX? (2004)
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