For the third time since WWE made its television rights deal with FOX, Friday Night SmackDown could be moved from its normal time slot on FOX to FS1.
Up to this point, WWE has moved the show to FS1 twice – last year and then for the second time back on October 23rd. Both times were due to FOX’s coverage of the MLB World Series.
Dave Meltzer mentioned on today’s episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that the December 18th episode of SmackDown could be moved to FS1 depending on what night the Pac 12 Championship game takes place.
A decision on whether the game will air on Friday or Saturday has yet to be made.
“The SmackDown on [December] 18th could be on FS1, that’s not clear right now. The Pac 12, I believe it is, championship football game will either be on the Friday or Saturday night that weekend. It has not been decided. If it’s on Friday night then SmackDown will move to FS1, if it’s on Saturday night then obviously SmackDown stays on FOX.”
For whatever it’s worth since a decision has yet to be made according to Meltzer, the Pac 12 website does list the game for that Friday night, but that could easily be changed.
The October 23, 2020 episode of SmackDown did 881,000 viewers with a 0.25 rating in the 18-49 demographic. To compare, last year’s show on FS1 in October did 888,000 viewers. That’s a big drop from its normal 2 million viewers that SmackDown typically does on FOX.
Not only is FS1 on cable, but they are in far fewer homes even compared to the likes of ESPN.