On today’s WWE quarterly conference call, Vince McMahon promised there would be a “new beginning” for WWE this Fall when SmackDown Live moves to FOX and for Monday Night Raw as their new deal with NBCUniversal (USA Network) also kicks off this Fall.
It’s no secret that there’s a ton of pressure on the company to get their ratings up by the Fall because there is no guarantee that FOX won’t move the show to FS1 if ratings are not better than what FOX is doing now on Friday nights.
Vince McMahon also talked about a new writing team to help creative and a team to help on live events. In the previous conference call, McMahon talked about reimagining live events to improve the attendance. WWE is barely breaking even these days with their live events.
I was told that there are major creative changes coming in the next few months as far as the overall presentation of the product and how storylines are presented. The plan is to give SmackDown a different look and feel and FOX wants the show to be more sports-like because they plan on cross-promoting with the NFL and other sports. There are many in the company who will acknowledge that the product is stale. The question is whether or not Vince McMahon is willing to admit that and make the changes necessary to freshen up his TV shows.
McMahon has talked about big changes over the years but generally, things tend to fall into the same stale pattern so it will be interesting to see if real changes occur this year.
Another thing being discussed is the possibility of a third hour of SmackDown Live. If they move forward with the third hour then it would likely air on FS1 after the FOX broadcast ends.