By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Fox doesn’t appear to be having any trouble selling advertising for WWE Friday Night Smackdown. Fox Sports executive VP of sports sales Seth Winter told AdAge that 20 sponsors who had never bought time during a pro wrestling show have already signed on. Winter also stated his belief that Smackdown can dominate the younger demographics. “We want to seize the night,” Winter said. “If you program for that demo, they will come.”
Stephanie McMahon’s quote from the upfront panel was also included. “With WWE we can script those big moments, because we’re storytelling,” she said. “We can script the touchdown, we can script the buzzer beater. Audiences watch for different reasons and on different platforms, but no matter where they are, you need to entertain them. That’s the game, right there. And we can make those moments happen, those memories that last a lifetime.” Read the full story at AdAge.com.
Powell’s POV: Stephanie’s comments play into my frustration with WWE’s booking. They are capable of scripting all those great moments and yet we see so few of them on Raw and Smackdown. That said, this is an informative and interesting piece with a lot of information about the companies that will advertise during Smackdown and the ballpark estimate ad rates that are expected to top what Fox’s previous Friday night lineup was earning. It’s also worth nothing that Winter stated that the “double-box” advertising that the network employs for NFL and MLB coverage is not expected to be used on Smackdown. There’s also an interesting note about how Fox may cut back on the amount of actual ads during the show “in the 10-to-20-percent range” in hopes of appealing to younger viewers.