The partnership between WWE and Fox is already off to a very interesting start.
Fans already knew Eric Bischoff would play a major role working on SmackDown, but now talks about a weekly talk show on Fox Sports 1 as well as NXT getting a cable TV audience are also heating up. As part of the move from USA to Fox, and Tuesdays to Fridays, news about just how WWE will be advertised on SmackDown’s new home is also being reported.
In latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required and encouraged) Dave Meltzer reports on all the marketing muscle Fox plans to throw behind SmackDown’s debut and how executives want to promote the WWE.
“FOX had a summit meeting on 7/17 talking to the affiliates about the fall schedule. They spoke about WWE and these were the key points in the presentation. Smackdown will be airing 51 weeks a year on FOX. It will be preempted for the World Series (although it may move to FS 1 that week). There will be a one-hour launch show in late September to build to the 10/4 debut at the Staples Center to introduce the WWE and its talent to the FOX audience. FOX is in talks about getting NXT onto television.
“This is not a done deal yet, but the weekly talk show on FS 1 is a done deal, as has already been announced, with Renee Young as the host. FOX wants everyone to promote WWE as a legitimate sport, not that the outcomes are real, but that it is a choreographed sports presentation as part of a Thursday through Sunday sports block in the fall with the NFL on Thursdays and Sundays and College Football on Saturdays.”
Feel like the phrase “choreographed sports presentation” could be the new “sports entertainment” in terms of over used buzz words that eat at the soul of pro wrestling fans.
Seeing WWE programming marketed right next to NFL and MLB games should be a great boost to SmackDown. Pro wrestling promoted like a legit sport hasn’t happened in a very long time and not on the scale of airing on one of the four major broadcast networks.
Is this the right approach from the executives at Fox? How long will this strategy work for both WWE and Fox?