Variety.com is featuring an exclusive article revealing that WWE Smackdown will be moving to Tuesday night on the USA Network with a live broadcast every week starting on July 19 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. Eastern (7:00-9:00 p.m. CT). This will be the first time in the 17-year history of Smackdown on broadcast and cable television that the show will air live on a weekly basis.
The move, which now creates five hours of live WWE programming each week on the USA Network, was touted by President of Entertainment Networks at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chris McCumber describing a “huge appetite” among viewers for live programming going forward in 2016.
WWE.com has also announced in conjunction with the move of Smackdown that there will be a split of the rosters with an impending superstar draft to once again have separate rosters for the RAW and Smackdown programs. This will be the first time that there will be separate rosters for RAW and Smackdown since 2011 when WWE quietly ended the brand extension that had been in place since 2002.
Vince McMahon is quoted in the article discussing how the move will leverage the talent roster and continues the unpredictable nature of live television.
“This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.”
WWE.com also released an official announcement of the roster split and move to Tuesday night starting this July.
WWE has posted video of Shane and Stephanie McMahon announcing the roster split and move of nights for Smackdown.