The following was issued by WWE on Friday.
USA NETWORK TO PREMIERE LIVE WRESTLEMANIA KICKOFF SHOW ON SUNDAY, APRIL 3
Special SMACKDOWN with Live Segments from AT&T Stadium to Air Thursday, March 31 and WWE HALL OF FAME Special to Premiere Thursday, April 7
NEW YORK – March 18, 2016 – For the first time ever, USA Network, the exclusive cable home to WWE’s marquee properties, announces expanded access to WRESTLEMANIA, WWE’s biggest event of the year. Between March 31 and April 7, the network will feature multiple events, including a live, one-hour broadcast of the official WRESTLEMANIA KICKOFF SHOW, a special SMACKDOWN episode with live segments, the one-hour WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY, and a movie marathon celebrating Dwayne “The Rock®” Johnson.
On Thursday, March 31 from 8-10PM ET/PT, SMACKDOWN will feature live segments from AT&T Stadium just days before WRESTLEMANIA 32.
On Sunday, April 3, USA’s live hour of the WRESTLEMANIA KICKOFF SHOW will start at 6PM ET/3PM PT and include the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, featuring 20 WWE Superstars.WRESTLEMANIA 32 will broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And leading in and out of the live kickoff show, USA Network will celebrate with a movie marathon featuring WWE homegrown star Dwayne “The Rock®” Johnson, with films including The Rundown, Faster, Fast Five and GI Joe Retaliation.
The night after, on Monday, April 4, an all-new WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW will feature the fallout from the action of WRESTLEMANIA 32.
Then on Thursday, April 7 at 10PM ET/PT, immediately following SMACKDOWN, USA will broadcast the one-hour 2016 WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY special. WWE Legends including Sting, Big Boss Man and The Fabulous Freebirds will be immortalized for their accomplishments and contributions to sports entertainment in this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class.
In 2016, USA Network became the exclusive cable home to WWE’s marquee properties, offering fans the live WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW for three hours every week (8-11PM ET/PT) andSMACKDOWN on Thursdays from 8-10PM ET/PT. In 2016 to date, MONDAY NIGHT RAW is averaging 4.09MM total viewers, 1.91MM P25-54 and 1.87MM P18-49 L7 and SMACKDOWN on USA is averaging 2.82MM P2+, 1.23MM P25-54, and 1.15MM P18-49+ L7, making USA the #1 cable entertainment network across the key demos on Monday and Thursday nights. In 2015, the two programs reached 50MM viewers.