Could WWE do the unthinkable?
The company seems poised to do so after a new rumor began circulating about Smackdown Live future on Fox Sports. Interestingly enough, there are apparently renewed talks of moving Smackdown Live to three hours, but with a pretty serious catch.
While the show would finally have the three-hour format that Raw has had for years, the company is considering putting the third hour behind a paywall and make it available on The WWE network. At least that way, WWE finds a new network exclusive, fans get what they want and there is a renewed interest in the network.
Of course, fans are most likely going to critically pan the idea, especially since it would put a highly coveted third hour of content behind a 9.99 dollar a month paywall, but can anyone blame the company for doing something like this?
Seriously though, WWE is about to lose their biggest network exclusive, NXT, to USA Network in The Fall and need something to replace it with. WWE is also rumored to be losing 205 Live as well, which only furthers the need for new content.
Combine all that with the high demand for the third hour of Smackdown Live and you have the perfect opportunity for WWE to capitalize on. Sure, it comes at a price to catch that third hour and that might be too much for some, but at least they are giving fans what they want.
Is it perfect? Probably not and it might never be, but at least WWE is listening to the fans and trying to work out opportunities to make it happen. Again, not exactly in the way that fans want, but what can you expect them to do without their network exclusive?