WWE Smackdown to air Fridays on FOX

WWE Smackdown comes to FOX Friday nights in October 2019.

FOX has secured a five year deal with WWE to air the program on their network. Beginning October 4, 2019, Fox will air a weekly, two-hour, live event 52 weeks a year.

USA Network, meanwhile, which used to air SmackDown, said it is renewing Monday Night Raw, a high-rated mainstay that debuted on the network in 1993. The re-up is also for five years.

SmackDown‘s move, which was signaled a few weeks ago, fills an important gap for Fox. The broadcast network will remain behind as a building block of “New Fox” after the remaining 21st Century Fox assets are sold to either Disney or Comcast. Without a pipeline of programming from Twentieth Television, the network intends to focus on live events and sports. Earlier this year it acquired multi-year rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games for similar strategic reasons.