For fans who thought WWE might get lost in the shuffle of all the sports and programming on FOX, a new ad seems to suggest otherwise.
If a new ad from FOX is any indication of how much they are relying on WWE programming and how seriously they are taking their new deal with the sports entertainment company, wrestling on FOX won't be a joke. In fact, it might get priority over a number of other options on the network.
Sports columnist for the LA Times, Arash Markazi tweeted a photo of how much FOX was putting WWE front and center during the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour on Wednesday. A graphic ad displays all of FOX's sports programming and center image is none other than Roman Reigns. WWE seems to be getting marquee billing over football and baseball players who are spread throughout the background.
The WWE is coming to Fox in October and it’s getting front and center billing at TCA. pic.twitter.com/XCIQ91vKDs— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 7, 2019
FOX is committed to their new deal with WWE for five years regardless of ratings. There is some concern about a recent decline in the numbers which could be one of the reasons FOX is featuring WWE so prominently. Still, FOX CEO Charlie Collier called working with WWE on FOX "thrilling" and didn't hold back when asked about how much FOX will focus on the new tv deal.
Based on an interview with The Wrap," Collier said, "[We are] a company that historically really leaned into NFL at a time where I think no one thought FOX could do so, and they've turned out to become the leading purveyor of the NFL." In much the same way as the NFL once was, there are a few critics that wonder if WWE will take a back seat to "legitimate sports". Collier said they're treating WWE as they would football. He explained, "And we're leaning into WWE with just as much enthusiasm."
What This Means
With Roman Reigns taking top billing on recent ads and the CEO of FOX talking about how seriously they are taking their relationship with WWE and trying to push the show, it is expected that ratings will be high and the partnership a big success.
WWE SmackDown Live will debut on FOX on Friday, October 4th.