USA Network is building a WWE franchise with three series. The cable network already is the longtime home of Monday Night Raw and recently announced that it would be bringing back reality competition series WWE Tough Enough with a new format. Now USA also will carry WWE SmackDown starting the first quarter of 2016. SmackDown — which had aired on UPN, the CW and MyNetworkTV — has been on USA sibling Syfy since 2010.
“WWE consistently delivers one of the largest and most socially engaged live audiences in entertainment, and we’re excited to expand our long-standing relationship and be the true cable home for the WWE fan,” said USA Network President Chris McCumber.
WWE Tough Enough returns for a new season June 23 on USA with a new format featuring live elements and fan participation.
Raw has been a cable mainstay for more than 20 years and is consistently a top 10 show. Year-to-date Raw averages 1.95 million adults 18-49 and 4.43 million total viewers. SmackDown averages 1.1 million adults 18-49, and 2.86 million total viewers.
With more than 800 original episodes, SmackDown is the second-longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history, only behind Monday Night Raw.