Why Smackdown Live Could Be Going To Three Hours, Emphasis On ‘Why’


Do you watch three hours of Raw, two hours of Smackdown Live, an hour of NXT, an hour of 205 Live, Main Event, last month’s three pay-per-views, as well as all the original and banked content on the Network and think, “there’s not enough WWE to watch every week?” Here’s some good news!

Earlier this week we mentioned how NBC Universal is paying three times the show’s value to keep Raw on USA Network on Monday nights, and how that means the blue brand, WWE Smackdown Live, could end up on a new channel. Whether that’s FOX, Amazon or Facebook Watch remains to be seen. Variety added some additional details to the deal on Thursday, including speculation like this:

“We think ‘SmackDown’ is due for a big raise as well, and likely still viewed as a bargain for several players reportedly interested,” said Eric Katz, senior analyst for Wells Fargo.

How will Smackdown get the same love as Raw in the new market? By being Raw. Variety speculates that if it moves to a new network, the previously two-hour Tuesday night affair could add an extra hour. From the report:

One option open to “SmackDown” is moving from a two- to three-hour format akin to “Raw.” That would obviously inflate the show’s advertising potential, which might even be an enticing lure for suitors. The smaller two-hour bite is more appealing to fans, but a deeper breath would allow the brand to broaden its storytelling spotlight to include some of its underutilized talents.

They mention that this is “in flux,” and reference the rumors that if Raw was sent to FOX as a lead-in to the evening news, they’d drop the show to two hours to more easily fit the time slot.

What would you want? Raw getting knocked down to two hours, depriving us of valuable commercial space for all-new episodes of Suits, or Smackdown getting “promoted” to a three-hour “A” show? Let us know in our comments below.