World Wrestling Entertainment has officially confirmed through their website that “Friday Night SmackDown” will be moving to Thursday nights on Syfy beginning early 2015:
The show that averages 3.1 million viewers on Friday nights and beats all Friday primetime viewing on any cable network is moving to Thursday nights on Syfy beginning January 15 at 8pm ET. With nearly 800 original episodes, SmackDown is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history, only behind WWE’s other flagship program, Monday Night Raw.
WWE’s sizable and passionate fan base make SmackDown the No. 1 entertainment show on Syfy and the most-watched, regularly scheduled program among key demographics on the network,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer. “We look forward to bringing the WWE audience to Thursday nights on Syfy.”
“Quite simply, more young men watch television on Thursday night than on Fridays,” said Michael Engleman, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Digital and Global Brand Strategy, Syfy. “Among Men 18-49, PUTS [persons using television] are 15 percent higher compared to Fridays, expanding the potential audience for SmackDown. Since the majority of broadcast programming skews female, we’re also using Thursday nights to counter-program.”
With a name made famous 15 years ago by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s popular catchphrase, SmackDown has been broadcast from 170 different venues, in 148 cities and towns, in seven different countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Japan, Italy and Mexico.
Rumors of the show changing nights have been running rampant for quite a while now. They began when production trucks started featuring the new company logo and the time change featured on the sides.
When Syfy revealed through a press release that “12 Monkeys” would be airing on Friday nights at 9 pm (second hour of “SmackDown”), that all but confirmed that one of WWE’s mainstays would be on the move.
I’m not sure how much of a ratings boost the show will get because of the change, but I’m all for it. People tend to go out on Friday nights and be social anyways. Thursday’s might attract a new audience, especially if the NFL primetime games continue to be bad in that slot.