– Variety has a new article on WWE SmackDown moving to the USA Network in 2016. Part of the reason SmackDown is moving to USA is because the network wants to up the amount of live or live-action programming they have.
At today’s USA Network Upfronts presentation where several new shows were announced, USA Network President Chris McCumber made it clear that USA is shifting the focus from its original programming to attract a millennial audience.
Another reason for SmackDown moving from Syfy to USA Network is NBCUniversal executives felt it made sense to put all of their WWE programming under one roof.
Variety also reported on the new “For the Hero in All of Us” image campaign that WWE and USA are currently running. The campaign is designed to make WWE’s raucous brand of live entertainment more acceptable to advertisers who have shunned WWE in the past.
USA Network ad executive Peter Lazarus said the network is now focused on “educating the marketplace about WWE’s positive attributes,” including how it’s mostly DVR proof thanks to live weekly airings and continuing storylines, and that WWE draws a good amount of family viewers. The attempt to make WWE look better to advertisers is part of the new deal that WWE and NBCU signed last year, which gives NBCU more control over advertising sales on their WWE programming.