Dave Meltzer from The Wrestling Observer Radio recently spoke about AEW and WWE’s possible Friday Night War. At the moment, Smackdown airs on FOX. However, the ratings are still not as high as some people thought they would be.
FOX might believe that WWE Smackdown is actually underperforming. It can also mean that FOX might simply stop airing Smackdown sometime in the future.
Dave Meltzer on Possible Friday Night Wars
Dave spoke about that possibility.
He spoke about it on the Wrestling Inc Daily. "The only real big one was the US Open in golf. FOX dumped them and took a big hit and basically gave it to NBC. That's the only big one that happened but it's a television business.
There's always a way out," said Meltzer. "I can't see with USA that happening because Raw is by far their most popular show. The FOX one, that's network TV and it's network primetime TV which is very valuable.
Right now I don't know if they're at the state where FOX would be wanting to reevaluate that Friday night time slot just yet. But they're not so far away where you wouldn't think about it." He spoke about the Smackdown ratings.
He stated that Smackdown gets 1.9. According to him, Smackdown needs more than 1.5 million viewers every single week. "Granted their demos have been good but nowhere near what FOX was expecting when they bought them there.
Right now the Friday night slot I don't think is in any danger but it's not far away. If we have a year-to-year decline next year at the rate of this year on SmackDown, at that point I could see FOX execs saying they need to reevaluate this stuff," said Meltzer.
He also stated that FOX might pull the plug quickly if AEW decided to air a show on Friday. That would start the Friday Night Wars. "I don't think they're gonna wanna go head-to-head with Raw or SmackDown. If SmackDown were to get moved to FS1 – and obviously AEW does have another show that was supposed to start – could it be on Friday at that point head-to-head? That's a possibility and I could almost see that.
Going head-to-head with FOX, I don't think that they would do that and I don't think that's beneficial," stated Meltzer before being asked if FOX's availability is why he doesn't see AEW going up against SmackDown.
Finally, Dave Meltzer said, "Yeah, you couldn't on TNT beat FOX. But if you were on TNT and had a wrestling show and they had SmackDown on FS1, you could go head-to-head with them. I don't know if you could beat them but you'd be pretty darn close from day one and I think it would be a dog fight.
I think for perception, if your B show is going against their B show and you're going head-to-head and getting close or even winning, I think that's a huge plus perception-wise for your product. If somehow, at some point, that thing got moved to FS1 I would actually make that move.
I would go, 'Hey, let's give us 8-9pm and go with this second show. We'll go head-to-head with them.' It may fail but I would think that it wouldn't. I would think that you would do real well in that situation."