WWE SmackDown Live has its new home on FOX. The blue brand will make the move this October. FOX recently touted WWE as part of its fall lineup at the New York City upfronts. However, prior to striking a deal with FOX, a potential move to ESPN was being discussed for the professional wrestling juggernaut.
ESPN Executive Vice President of programming and scheduling, Burke Magnus, spoke to The Wrap recently. Magnus revealed that ESPN had spoken to WWE about potentially adding SmackDown Live, but no deal could be reached due to WWE’s extensive schedule. The EVP noted he couldn’t get WWE, let alone anything, cleared for 52 weeks a year of live programming.
Magnus said he “looked at all kinds of conversations to try and make it fit. It just didn’t work.” ESPN didn’t leave empty-handed, however. Prior to discussions with WWE, Magnus reveals their deal to acquire the broadcast rights to the UFC had already “set in stone.” Talks about SmackDown Live was in an attempt to add on to that.
Finally, Magnus noted that All Elite Wrestling (AEW) never approached ESPN about bringing their product to their platform, saying “they did not come to us.”
What do you think about ESPN having considered adding SmackDown Live?