— It appears FOX executives are hoping that WWE Smackdown on Fridays starting in 2019 will draw in the range of 3.0 to 3.5 million viewers, which is a significant increase from the 2.0 – 2.5 million the show pulls in right now. While moving from Tuesday to Friday nights should in theory hurt viewership numbers, FOX is available in approximately 20 million more homes and is a station with a much larger base audience than the USA Network. It is expected that the move to FOX will more than offset the drop from Tuesday to Friday.
— Even if the show hits the target the first week and ends up trending downward for the duration of the five years, executives on both sides are expecting that drop to be smaller compared to the rest of the television at large. As a result, from a competition perspective, the show will remain extremely valuable.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Subscription information & prices available at f4wonline.com