WWE's Puts Marketing Muscle Behind 'Friday Night SmackDown's Move To Syfy

Think of it as an example of "almost-a-sport" siphoning.

On Oct. 1, WWE's Friday Night SmackDown will debut on NBC Universal's Syfy with a live two-hour event from the Ford Center in Oklahoma city. The show is usually taped.

Friday Night SmackDown had been on MyNetwork TV, and UPN before that.

Wrestling used to be a staple on local broadcast TV, including for WWE -- formerly WWWF and WWF -- which syndicated matches featuring such iconic figures as Chief Jay Strongbow, Ivan Putski, the Baron, and Gorilla Monsoon to local stations across the country. The upcoming switch marks the move of all of WWE's programming to cable.

WWE is cross-promoting the switch with an appearance by "Superstar" wrestler Cody Rhodes on Syfy's Warehouse 13 detective drama, a series of videos on select Virgin Airline flights airing in December during busy flight time, and a schedule of promos across NBCU cable platforms, including Bravo, MSNBC, USA and Syfy, among others.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.