from Media Week:
Earlier this month, MyNetworkTV assured World Wrestling Entertainment fans that SmackDown would survive a restructuring of the channel’s business model, a shift from the traditional broadcast template to a hybrid that more closely resembles a cable network, only with broadcast affiliates.
While MyNetwork plans to shrink its broadcasting day, paring its weekly programming load down to 10 hours from an even dozen—Saturday is being returned to its 180 affiliates—SmackDown will remain in place, serving as the channel’s beefy saviour in transitionary and recessionary times.
At present, SmackDown will stand as the lone original series on the MyNetwork schedule when the fall season begins, as the bulk of the current lineup will be stripped out and replaced with syndicated fare like NBC Universal’s Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
While SmackDown may not be everyone’s Full Nelson, those looking to connect with a younger male audience find it difficult to dismiss the genre’s staying power. In addition to the MyNetwork franchise, the WWE boasts a perennial powerhouse in the two-hour Raw, which draws more than 5 million viewers to USA Network week in and week out. And the Tuesday night ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling is Sci Fi Channel’s second most popular show, trailing only Ghost Hunters International in total viewers. (A fourth program, WWE Superstars, launches on WGN America in April.) – read the full story on Mediaweek.com