WWE has signed a big-money deal with FOX to air SmackDown Live this fall. SmackDown will move to FOX on Friday, October 4 at 8 pm eastern.
The hope is that the show could see a big increase in viewership as FOX is available in more homes than the USA Network which should help increase ratings.
Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier took questions from The Wrap at the Television Critics Association press tour. During the interview, Collier commented on whether there are protections in place should SmackDown not bring in the ratings expected.
"I'm a guy that came out of cable," said Collier. "And for the last few decades in cable, what's driven the No. 1 network has been wrestling. And so for us to have a consistent presence is thrilling."
"In terms of protections – this is a company that historically really leaned into NFL at a time where I think no one thought Fox could do so, and they've turned out to become the leading purveyor of the NFL," Collier continued. "And we're leaning into WWE with just as much enthusiasm."
The USA Network will continue to air Raw on Monday nights while SmackDown Live will shift to Friday nights this October on FOX. He was asked if FOX is committed to SmackDown for the full five years regardless of ratings.
“Yeah,” he responded. Collier then the media outlet to contact with Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks for more “contractual” details.