WWE SmackDown Future Speculation Amid Cancellation

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WWE SmackDown Future Speculation Amid Cancellation
WWE SmackDown Future Speculation Amid Cancellation © WWE/YouTube

The future of WWE's flagship program, "SmackDown," on Fox is uncertain as contract negotiations loom large. Earlier this year, a report hinted that Fox might not renew its broadcast rights for the wrestling extravaganza, throwing a cloud of doubt over WWE's broadcast future.

With the current TV deal set to expire, WWE is seeking a significant increase from its annual revenue of $205 million to a hefty $310 million, a figure that Fox might find fiscally challenging. Adding to the intrigue, Fox recently decided to pull the plug on its famous "Out of Character" WWE podcast, a platform for interviews with WWE talent and recaps of the weekly WWE programming.

The cancellation of this show has raised eyebrows within the wrestling community, with some interpreting it as a potential indicator of a deteriorating working relationship between WWE and Fox. While "SmackDown" has consistently dominated Friday night ratings, and WWE's overall product is on an upswing, Fox's decision hinges mainly on financial considerations.

The core dilemma revolves around the revenue generated versus the costs incurred. "SmackDown" faces a unique challenge in attracting advertisers due to the lingering stigma associated with professional wrestling. As a result, the show's ad rates are comparatively lower than other Friday night programming, making it a less attractive prospect for Fox.

Fox's WWE Contract Dilemma

WWE's partnership with Fox began in October 2019 under a five-year contract. As WWE explores potential suitors for its next broadcasting deal, Fox's stance has seemingly already been hinted at. Given the economic challenges and evolving landscape of televised sports entertainment, the critical question remains whether Fox is willing to invest a more significant sum to keep "SmackDown" on its network airwaves.

In the ever-evolving world of professional wrestling, WWE and Fox find themselves at a crossroads as they navigate the intricate dance of television contracts, audience ratings, and financial feasibility. The wrestling community and the broader entertainment industry eagerly await the outcome of these negotiations, as they hold the potential to reshape the future of WWE's presence on Fox. Stay tuned for updates as these high-stakes discussions unfold.


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