On many cable systems on the West Coast, WWE SmackDown Live airs on tape delay at 8 pm local time, which is two hours after it has aired for most of the country.
When SmackDown moves to FOX in October, a decision has to be made on if it will run from 5-7 pm on the West Coast as a live show or 8-10 pm on tape delay.
The issue FOX could run into is that it would affect the newscasts for their affiliates. If FOX wants to run the show live on the West Coast then it would mean that newscasts would have to consider moving to 7 pm local time on Friday nights. The newscasts have to shift on Thursday nights because of FOX picking up the NFL but that is not a problem since the NFL is so highly-rated. Would they be willing to do the same for a wrestling show?
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that the impression that was given to him was that SmackDown would run live on the West Coast since it is being considered as a sports property, not an entertainment property. As previously noted, FOX wants SmackDown Live to be less comedy and more sports because they are going to use their other sports show to promote WWE.
We'll see if they stick to that or if that changes in the next few months.
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