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WWE's 'Smackdown' moving to Syfy

WWESmackdown Syfy Channel has pinned a deal for "Smackdown."

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc's  "Smackdown," which for years was a mainstay on the UPN and CW networks before moving to News Corp.'s My Network TV, is now headed to NBC Universal's Syfy Channel, people close to the situation said.

A deal, which will be announced later this week, further solidifies the growing relationship between NBC Universal and Vince McMahon's WWE. Syfy already carries the show "NXT," which is a reality program featuring wannabe wrestlers trying to make it to the big leagues of WWE. NBC Universal's USA cable channel also carries WWE programming including "WWE Raw." 

Although terms were not disclosed, My Network TV was shelling out roughly $20 million a year for "Smackdown." Syfy's price tag is believed to be closer to $30 million a year.

Although "Smackdown" is more than 10 years old, it still does very well with men, particularly the 18-34 demographic, and generally averages about 3.5 million viewers overall. "Smackdown" will continue to air on Friday nights when it moves to Syfy later this year, most likely in either late September or early October.

WWE is still looking to launch its own cable network, probably sometime in 2011. This latest deal with NBC Universal is another sign that the two could end up partnering on such a channel. WWE chief Vince McMahon has close relationships with NBC Universal brass, particularly Dick Ebersol, who oversees all sports programming for the company. Just a few weeks ago, Ebersol took part in an induction ceremony for broadcaster Bob Uecker into the WWE's hall of fame, which was also broadcast as a special on the USA Network. 

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Great Khali, right, knocks down the Undertaker on "WWE Friday Night SmackDown" in 2006. Credit: Mike Groll / Associated Press.

Comments () | Archives (24)

looks like WWE knows something that we don't know yet, and that Free TV is dying a slow painful death thanks to the DTV transition last year and the fact that MyNetworkTV is almost dead as a network and Fox Broadcasting is getting ready to fold the network down and they chose not to move SmackDown on Fox. hopefully WWE will bring back syndication programs for those who can't afford cable to recap both shows each week.

I hope Smackdown does move to SyFy because where I live I don't get My Network TV so I don't get to watch Smackdown.

I don't like it, becouse some fans don't get syfy or cable. right now I do, but what if my cable drops syfy

Isn't SyFy supposed to be a science fiction channel? I understand the fiction in WWE spandex dancing but there's definitely not much science.

I find it odd that it's staying on Fridays. Friday is SYFY's biggest night for original programming.

@Adam Syfy is moving its original programming to Tuesday nights.

i cnt wait for it to move so i can watch it

When I first seen this I was excited! Being able to watch smackdown here is hit and miss. We only have it on a free digital Channel. When it was on upn. Our affiliate which was fox at the time. Broadcasted it late sunday nights. We finally got cw as a local channel. Then they moved to my network tv. I will probably actually start watching it now. Atleast dvr the show.

no let it stay on channel 9 cuz sfi has nxt

Smackdown shouldn't move to SyFy most people don't have the channel that SyFy be so they don't have cable but if people have cable, dish, digital cable, or direct TV they should have channel 24. I been watching wrestling for 14 years and when they had Smackdown on channel 18 and 24 I watched it ever since and I still watch it. I would hate for it to move to another channel, so I hope Vince McMahon could change his mind and keep Smackdown on My Network TV.

I am very happy to hear the news that Smackdown is moving to the Syfy channel. For over a year now ever since I got Directv. Where I live they do not have MyNetworkTV. I was lucky enough to be able to find a website that streamed smackdown live but it meant I had to sit and watch it on a tiny screen and sometimes the stream was choppy and had a lag. And I had to make sure I was home at 5pm when it was being streamed. Now when it gets on Syfy I can set my DVR to record it if I cant be home when it comes on. It is going to make life much more simple so for that I am happy!.

well i am glad to because we lost our my network last year, i started watching ghost whisperer but now its canceled so glad it is going to change to syfy to the one that said its fiction, well if might be, but you watch shows that arent real dont you and we dont put them down.

Hmm i see that the photo is wrong and that is not smackdown , its ecw, its says so in the mat , lol.

Is SMACKDOWN Still going to be on friday night at 7:00 on channel 4 in San Antonio,Texas ?

dont move it from my network tv to scyfi i dont have cable and it is the only wrestling show i can watch its all i ever do on my fridays is wait for it to come on :(

Well, this is why I live in New York.
If FreeTV is dying a slow and painful death, then I plan to get off my tush and get some exercise so I don't end up another fat American paying a $70 cable bill.
Irony is fat American watching well-cut men fight. Funneh.

I think wwe smack down is making a huge mistake to move to syfi becuse many people cant wacht syfi becuse of there cable like me but why do they had to move to syfi i maan syfi come they dont have that many good channels as mynetworktv and plus they wont get that muck views any more and now nxt is coming to mylvtv fist of all nxt isent a very good show lets put itsthat way and to tell you the truth i think smack down is losing alot of there fans just to move to syfi you know what ama write a letter so they can get a piece of my mind...

SMACK DOWN MOVING TO SYFI come on they making a huge mistake of leaving mylvtv come on and syfi is not a good chanel for smack down and now NXT IS COMIN TO MYLVTV nxt sucks i hope they that there making a huge mistake...

I think this idea really sucks. I live in Los Angeles and MyNetwork TV was on channel 13 which was a real pain since my tv could barely get the signal. However, in the last couple of weeks, my tv continued to get the channel and it was so awesome to watch Smackdown again...But now this.

SyFy is like on cable and my mom won't/can't pay for that. I don't watch Raw because it's on cable. Now I guess I'll have to start watching all of the WWE episodes on YouTube again. I know the people at WWE need to make money but the economy is screwing us all over and a lot of people can't afford to get cable. They really should have thought about this more and not rushed into it...People can be so greedy these days...

i dont like this at all terible mistake NXT should stay in SCYFY but omg when smackdown goes too SCYFY were would NXT go becuzse NXT cant be in the chanle SMAKCDOWN is on thats just not right! this is a mastake a big big mistake! *sniffs*

I Wish it diden't move i dont have cable only free tv so i cant watch Smackdown live at all now. I think its a stupid move even if you have cable most people dont have SIFI. They are gong to loos all the fans who just have free tv.

get a life

I think this stinks. I and everybody I know, watches the SyFy channel to see science fiction movies and shows. We could care less about all that stupid fake wrestling junk.

To the person who said "People can be so greedy", technically you are being greedy as well. Everyone is, it's human nature. If you can't afford or won't get cable then I agree it bites. However saying they shouldn't move it to Syfy simply because you won't be able to watch it is being greedy.

NXT is NOT moving to mynetworkTV, if anything it will be moving to Bravo.


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