Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said of WWE's SmackDown coming Fox on Fridays that the move is "short term" and changes may be coming.
There were a number of interesting sound bites to take form Collier's interview while on the Television Critics Association press tour this week. After confirming WWE would be joining the Fox Network on Fridays, Collier spoke of how excited the network is to have WWE join them because the company knows their audience. Citing Vince's brand of entertainment as one that knows how to tell a story. "They're great storytellers and I think it fits beautifully with what we're doing," Collier said.
Also interesting is that he called the move to Fridays a short-term plan for the two brands.
Chris Hayner of Gamespot covered the speech and said it sounds a lot like Fox is leaving their options open and is more than willing to move SmackDown around, potentially taking it off of Friday nights and trying out other options.
"Short term, Friday night is going to WWE," Collier says when asked about Last Man Standing. That show could go elsewhere. But WWE being "short term" Fridays tells me they may move it around. #TCA19— Chris E. Hayner (@ChrisHayner) February 6, 2019
Along with potential timeslot changes, it was also confirmed that more WWE content is planned for the new partnership and that Fox is looking to treat wrestling as more than entertainment, but as a sports brand that meshes well with the other programming, it offers. The focus will be less on making SmackDown Live feel like a tv show and more like a sporting event. This will include adding other non-live programs that promote the show as a sport.
This could come in the form of recaps or panel-style shows that talk about what happened each week.
What This Means
For now, it's hard to know what Fox intends to do with the WWE product and how much the WWE will be excited to make changes. If Fox wants more sports and less soap opera, expect some of the more talented in-ring performers to make their way to the blue brand and comedy storylines make their way to the red brand.
Some fans will love this change and others will hate it. Regardless, it doesn't appear Fox is worried about making alterations once they start airing SmackDown Live on their network.