Moving day nears for SD
The estimated $30 million deal was announced Tuesday. The deal strengthens WWE's relationship with NBC Universal, which owns both Syfy and USA, Raw's channel. According to the LA Times, WWE would like to start their own network in 2011, and it looks likely that they may be partnering with NBC Universal on that, too.
“With this move, WWE is thrilled to be expanding its long-standing relationship with the NBC Universal family,” said WWE Chairman/CEO Vince McMahon.
According to the WWE, SD averages more than 3.4 million viewers a week and is the most watched TV program on Friday nights among males under 55. It beats all Friday prime time programming on ABC, NBC, FOX and CW among men 18-34.
But, Syfy? Well, to the Syfy people (and specifically, their FAQs), their channel isn't just about science fiction programming, but "imagination-based entertainment." Syfy is moving its regular Friday night programs to Tuesday nights, hence the departure for NXT.
“WWE is the ultimate in imagination-based sports entertainment," explained Dave Howe, President of Syfy. "The fantastical thrills of Friday Night SmackDown provide an ideal addition to the Syfy slate, as it targets the younger male and female demographics, which are the fastest growing categories for WWE.”
This move should make the draft in a weekand a half much more interesting to see who they bring to SmackDown to help draw viewers to the new channel in the fall.
Unfortunately, the problem with this move is if you don't have a cable package which includes Syfy, you're not going to be watching SD any longer. And, unless NXT is actually moved to a network station, there will be people who will not be able to watch any WWE programming until the next Saturday Night Main Event special.
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