FOX’s Reaction To SmackDown Viewership and Expectations

During the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, FOX Sports EVP Michael Mulvihill commented on the viewership for Friday Night Smackdown’s premiere and expectations for the series moving forward:

“I think we were more than happy with the debut numbers. We basically drew 4 million for the premier and were up 85% over what the show had been doing on USA and way up on what our network (FOX) had been doing on Friday nights. Definitely a really positive premier.”

“I don’t want to put a specific number to it, we know that was a extraordinary debut last Friday and the show will now have to settle at a cruising altitude. Without putting a precise number to it, we have an opportunity to be maybe double what we have been doing on FOX on Friday nights which was 1.2 mil, I like to think that we can be meaningfully bigger than what the show was averaging on USA which was more like 2.2 million…..If we can feel six months from now that we can grow the show verses what it was doing on USA and grow our Friday night prime time and provide a better lead in for our affiliate late local news, if was can just convert on those points we are going to be happy.”