'SmackDown' Joins MNTV This Fall
MNTV recently unpinned the International Fight League mixed-martial arts programming from its lineup. "SmackDown," in its ninth season, is a two-hour show that currently airs on Fridays.
MNTV pays WWE a license fee, and then gains all the ad time.
But affiliate carriage comes at a price. Per TV Newsday, MNTV Executive Vice President Paul Franklin said that affiliates are being asked to give up an extra two minutes of ad inventory each hour during the show. So far, he says, affiliates have been amenable. Those two minutes are on top of the two minutes that MNT wants back on all programming.
MNTV has proposed a new plan to affiliates in which it would retain seven minutes in all programs and nine minutes for costly ones like "SmackDown."
The "SmackDown" acquisition could be a signal of News Corp.'s commitment to increase its investment in MNTV, which struggled in its first season but has improved in its second. The CW chose not to pick up the option after carrying it for two years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
WWE chairman Vince McMahon said: "We have an unmatched record of delivering ratings success to each and every network partner we've worked with in our long and storied history. We fully intend to bring that same level of success to MyNetworkTV."