As you definitely know by now, being the sort of person who reads wrestling blogs, last night was the final Tuesday night episode of Smackdown Live on USA, and next week sees the launch of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox TV. The big move to network TV will be marked by a WWE Title Match between Kofi Kingston and Brock Lesnar (Lesnar’s first televised match in 15 years), a Four Horsewomen tag match, a new set, pyrotechnics, and a renewed push for ratings. Naturally, the move to a new channel will also involve a change in sponsorship, which we’ve learned more about today.
Progressive Insurance will be the presenting sponsor of the new Smackdown, according to a story from AdAge. Does that mean Flo and Jamie are going to have a mixed tag match against Carmella and R-Truth? Not necessarily, but we can hope. It does mean we’ll be hearing a lot about Progressive on Friday nights. The deal was put together by FOX Sports Executive Vice President of Sports Sales Seth Winter, who has worked with WWE since the 1980s, when “Championship Wrestling” was airing on New York’s WOR-TV.
Other Smackdown sponsors include Pizza Hut, Boost Mobile, Snickers and Paramount Pictures, which will be promoting Gemini Man, the upcoming action movie where middle-aged Will Smith has to fight young Will Smith. Winter says to expect lots of “integrated” ads in addition to traditional ad breaks. He also says that Fox is considering reducing the number of ads on Smackdown as a way of appealing to younger viewers.