Wrestling Will Be Ad-Free for First Hour on Christmas

USA Network will air its two wrestling shows, WWE's Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, will air with commercial-free initial hours on Dec. 25 and Dec 26.

WWE is billing the stunt as part of its Christmas celebration. Raw will air live on USA for the first time this year on Christmas Day.

The wrestling entertainment giant is also marking the 25th anniversary of Raw, which first aired in 1993. That event will emanate from the Barclay Center and Manhattan Center in New York on Jan. 22, 2018. The Manhattan Center was the site of the first episode of Raw. Stars from both Raw and SmackDown will be at Barclays Center, while WWE legends including Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash will be at the Manhattan Center.

Raw and SmackDown Live are the two longest running weekly episodic programs in U.S. primetime TV history and two of the most-watched, regularly scheduled programs on cable. 

Because they air 52-weeks a year, Raw and SmackDown Live have aired more original episodes than some of the most popular television series of all time, including The Simpsons, Gunsmoke, Lassie and Monday Night Football.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.