Smackdown - Saturday's Main Event?
TNN cancelled its top-rated show, ECW on TNN, and constantly interfered with the product they were offering. Later, they picked up the WWE only to do the same thing to them. Now TNN uses TNA to fill in their weekend schedule. Youd think after going through three different companies, theyd learn the value of the ratings draw that is wrestling. I know that ECW and Raw were the top draws on Spike TV/TNN, though I doubt TNA is doing that much other than filling space.
USA had Monday Night Raw on forever, let it go, and as soon as it was available, picked it back up again where its consistently been one of the top rated shows on cable. Ratings are down from wrestlings peak, but having one of the top draws on TV is never a bad thing when it comes to finding advertisers. We all know money is the lifeblood of television, and the WWE is far from an expensive product to produce like a scripted show would be.
Media Week says that wrestling isnt the image the network is looking for. Considering their other big draw is Americas Next Top Model and shows like Gossip Girl, the CW seems to be shooting more for a female demographic, and males ages 18-49 on Friday nights isnt part of their overall plan. Id always believed the conventional wisdom that 18-49 was the key demographic for ad sales, but apparently the CW thinks differently. Thats probably why theyre a distant fourth in the ratings.
Where will Smackdown go? I dont know. MyNetworkTV, which started as a network catering to women with prime-time soap operas, has now turned into a more male-oriented station with the International Fight League as its main ratings grabber. I have no doubt itd immediately catapult MyNetworkTV from an incredibly distant fifth to a distant fifth, but advertising revenues would perk up instantly. Plus, unlike the CW which seems like its trying to fail, MyNetwork TVs blend of reality police shows, accident footage, and fighting seems perfect for the soap opera that is wrasslin.
Of course, I think an American Gladiators/WWE Smackdown tag team on Saturday nights for NBC would be a huge ratings grab. NBCs always been friendly to the WWE, and Saturday Nights Main Event is remembered fondly by wrestling fans. Besides, as Friday Night Smackdown proved, the WWE can draw steady ratings any night of the week. Why not stick it out there in the worst ratings night youve got?