The holiday season has arrived as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will both take place on Friday nights, which is when SmackDown normally airs live on FOX.
Dave Meltzer shared what WWE has planned for these episodes of SmackDown during the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio. There will not be a live episode of SmackDown on FOX on December 31st.
Instead, WWE will air a year in a review-type episode on FOX Sports 1. SmackDown is being moved to FS1 as FOX will be airing its New Year’s Eve programming. WWE management (Nick Khan, Vince McMahon, and Kevin Dunn) decided to not air a regular episode on FOX Sports 1 as the show would do a poor rating considering it takes place on a holiday and FS1 being in fewer homes than FOX.
WWE originally planned to air a live episode of SmackDown at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on New Year’s Eve but was later removed from the schedule.
Also, for the Christmas Eve edition of SmackDown, WWE will tape this show a week in advance on December 17th in Chicago. So fans attending that SmackDown event will see a live show then a taped edition.