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May 30, 2005 Observer Newsletter: UPN moves SmackDown to Friday, ECW PPV turns into political fight


In a year that has been filled with one major change in the U.S. wrestling landscape after another, one of the year's biggest stories came out of left field with the announcement that UPN was moving Smackdown to Friday night, effective in the fall season in September.

Many who don't know the situation were immediately pegging the move as a sign that UPN has no interest in wrestling after its contract expires in September of 2006. The idea is that moving it to Friday will hurt its ratings so UPN isn't dropping its usual highest rated show, and also has more leverage to negotiate. I don't know the network business that well but I've never heard of trying to kill a hit show on purpose so it would be easier to negotiate terms for a renewal, as it makes no sense within that business. The decision had little to do with future plans regarding wrestling, as much as hopes for a new show.

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