Can FOX Move SmackDown? + Lars Sullivan Punished
There has been much said about SmackDown moving to FOX, but could the network move the show to one of it's off brands? And Lars Sullivan gets punished.
This comes up again now because, for the television industry, we are in the season of Up Front Presentations, when networks show off their lineups for next season. For FOX, that includes SmackDown.
However, following the FOX presentation this week, there is now conflicting information about where SmackDown will air, and for how long.
According to the FOX president, SmackDown airing on Friday nights on the main FOX broadcast network, as opposed to FS1 on cable, is likely a short term thing.
“Short term, Friday night is going to WWE,” Collier says when asked about Last Man Standing. That show could go elsewhere. But WWE being “short term” Fridays tells me they may move it around. #TCA19
— Chris E. Hayner (@ChrisHayner) February 6, 2019
However, per the Wrestling Observer, there may be language in the contract between FOX and WWE that prohibits or strongly restricts the network from moving the show from broadcast to cable. This could get interesting, to be sure.
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Then again, there’s also a logistical issue. It’s been brought up before, but it will be interesting to see what happens to the show on, say, WrestleMania weekend, when WWE has the Hall of Fame and TakeOver on the two nights prior to WrestleMania. Is FOX not going to have SmackDown that week? It would seem very odd to have a go-home show over a week ahead of the PPV. Stay tuned.
-In other news, Lars Sullivan found himself in a new round of hot water.
It has been previously reported that Sullivan had made inflammatory comments on social media accounts years ago. WWE reportedly knew about the comments and still brought him on board-and lined him up for a major push.
Now, however, a major sponsor has raised issues with Sullivan’s past. Per multiple reports, including from Forbes, WWE is fining Sullivan $100,000 and sending him to sensitivity training.
If you saw SmackDown this week, Sullivan barely appeared on the show and said nothing. If Lars was entirely in the dog house, it’s likely he would not have appeared at all.