The upcoming agreement between SmackDown and the USA Network, set to commence next year, represents one of the most substantial deals in the show’s history. In light of their venture, WWE’s broadcast strategy for SmackDown’s return to the USA Network has been revealed.

WWE has recently inked a $5 billion deal with Netflix, marking the streaming platform’s debut in live wrestling with Monday Night Raw. This move concludes the show’s 31-year tenure on network television, as it transitions to Netflix in the United States starting January. Meanwhile, WWE’s other TV shows, including Smackdown, NXT, and PLE’s, will be available on the platform internationally.

Following a five-year break from the USA Network, the show is scheduled to make its return in October 2024, having relocated to Fox in 2009. This return is part of a $1.4 billion deal over five years, and as part of the agreement, WWE will produce four prime-time specials annually on NBC.

While speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer mentioned that WWE is still intending to schedule the show on Friday nights when they transition to USA. According to information from about a month ago, the plan is for SmackDown to remain on Fridays, despite potential concerns about the scheduling decision. Meltzer expressed skepticism, noting that it might seem unwise for USA to continue SmackDown on Fridays.

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“I know the last time I talked with somebody with WWE. And on that discussion, they told me outright that, like, like, nothing’s official. I mean, the stations are gonna have to all work this out in whatever. The plan, as of right now, which I would say was about a month ago I’m gonna guess, is that SmackDown would be Friday. I don’t know why you would do that. If you’re USA, it feels utterly stupid to do SmackDown on Friday. But that was the plan as of a month ago, was for SmackDown to stay on Friday. And be called Friday Night SmackDown.”

We will have to wait and see whether Friday Night SmackDown returning to the USA Network will end up becoming the best deal WWE made for the blue brand so far.

Do you feel SmackDown’s deal with The USA Network is a great one for the company? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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