Back in 2012, WWE decided to take its flagship show and give viewers a lot more of it every single week of the year. That is when Monday Night Raw moved to three hours while SmackDown Live stayed at two hours for Tuesday nights. With the blue brand moving to Fox in October, it appears as if there are going to be a number of changes and one of them is adding an extra hour to each weekly show.
During the WWE earnings call this week, WWE Co-President George Barrios discussed a number of things and one of them detailed how the company uses its TV hours each week. As reported by Wrestling Inc., that led many to believe that SmackDown Live will end up receiving a third hour and it could happen as soon as this July.
“We’ve been monetizing some way, shape or form six hours of content for a long time. Today, that sixth hour is primarily being used on the network and we’ll figure out here over the next several months, what we think the best use of, nothing to update now.”
The “sixth hour” that Barrios is talking about is used for 205 Live which is taped after SmackDown Live each week and airs on the WWE Network. It appears as if that isn’t completely working out for WWE in the way they had hoped and that is why change is possible.
When WWE made a deal with Fox and it was determined that SmackDown Live would move there, rumors started on the length of the show. It was widely believed that the blue brand would end up moving to three hours to match Raw even before the move, but it hasn’t happened.
While WWE was searching for another TV deal and network to work with, a lot of people thought the three-hour format would help them land it. The company eventually ended up dealing with Fox without word of changing the length, but that has since changed.
On October 4, 2019, SmackDown Live will make its debut on Fox which will be huge for WWE. It will mark the first time in history that WWE will be available live 52 weeks a year in 120 million homes on a premier broadcast platform. It is believed that big things are coming for the blue brand, and a move to three hours is not out of the question.
For now, SmackDown Live is staying at two hours, but that could change by the middle of the summer. WWE hasn’t confirmed that the lengthening of the show is happening, but this week’s earnings call certainly made it appear that way.