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MyNet Aims to Wrangle Wrestling

Aug 24, 2008  •  Post A Comment

As MyNetwork TV heads into its third season, President Greg Meidel is forecasting a “year of momentum” for the News Corp.-owned programming service.
Momentum, it seems, propelled by a WWE body slam: MyNet has acquired “Friday Night Smackdown!” from The CW and will start broadcasting the two-hour grappling showcase Oct. 3. But the impact of “Smackdown!” on MyNet will extend far beyond a single night.
Mr. Meidel said he will use wrestling as a promotional tool for several of MyNet’s new shows: WWE’s female wrestlers, or Divas, will be assistants on MyNet’s new “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed,” and WWE wrestler Mr. Kennedy will be involved in a bit on “The Tony Rock Project.”
“‘Smackdown!’ is a huge franchise for us,” Mr. Meidel said. “The show has been a dominant force this summer.”
Mr. Meidel is hoping “Smackdown!” can replicate its CW ratings performance. Last season, the series averaged a 1.7 rating/6 share in one of MyNet’s target age groups, males 18 to 49 years old. It also regularly ranked as one of three top-rated shows on Friday nights. If “Smackdown!” can match that on MyNet, it will become the network’s highest-rated property by a considerable measure.
“We think we know who our core audience is,” Mr. Meidel said. “Not too young, not too old.”
Despite “Smackdown’s” network change—the second in its nine-year existence—Mr. Meidel said he was positive the WWE audience will follow “Smackdown” to MyNet. It’s a prediction echoed by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
“WWE creates networks. That’s what we do,” Mr. McMahon said.
The WWE is no stranger to channel-hopping. “Monday Night Raw” moved from USA to Spike TV in 2000, only to return to USA in 2005. And “Smackdown!” transferred to The CW from UPN when the latter network disappeared.
Mr. McMahon noted that in past instances in which the WWE has moved networks, the show has carried its audience over.
“Smackdown!” isn’t MyNet’s only new property this season. In addition to “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed” (which is being built from a series of specials that aired on Fox a decade ago) and “The Tony Rock Project” (a hidden-camera/sketch show hosted by comedian Chris Rock’s younger brother), MyNet also is getting into business with Arsenio Hall. He’ll host a clip show dubbed “World’s Funniest Moments.”
Also on the horizon for MyNet are several celebrity roasts called “Shaken, Not Stirred.” Mr. Meidel said the first one may air in November.

3 Comments

  1. ok, smackdown is my favorite show, so tell me, what numbers to i click to get on the tv channea?
    i’ on dishnetwork, but can not find the numbers it get on. ok it its not to much of a hassel, woild you send me a e-mail thanks.

  2. Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

  3. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

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