BREAKING NEWS: Smackdown Goes Live, Brand Extension to Return

Variety is featuring an exclusive article revealing that WWE Smackdown will be moving to Tuesday night on the USA Network with a live broadcast every week starting on July 19 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. Eastern (7:00-9:00 p.m. CT). You can see the announcement from Stephanie and Shane McMahon in the video below:

The move, which now creates five hours of live WWE programming each week on the USA Network, was touted by President of Entertainment Networks at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chris McCumber describing a “huge appetite” among viewers for live programming.

Variety also revealed that that a draft will be held before Smackdown moves to Tuesday in July to determine which talent will appear on RAW or Smackdown, a return to the move the WWE made back in 2002 when they split the rosters. WWE sources are confirming that at some point (yet to be determined) there will be a draft splitting the roster between Raw and Smackdown. The Variety article notes that there will be separate writing teams for each brand.

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon is quoted in the article discussing how the move will leverage the talent roster and continues the unpredictable nature of live television.

“WWE’s flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV,” said Vince McMahon to Variety. “This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.”

Here is the original article on Variety >

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