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WWE Brand Extension Draft Announced For July 19 Live Smackdown

We were sent the following press release from WWE today.

WWE®’S DESTINY LIVE ON SMACKDOWN®

NEW YORK and STAMFORD, CONN – June 20, 2016 – The destiny of all WWE Superstars will be determined on the first-ever live SmackDown on Tuesday, July 19 from 8-10 pm ET/PT on USA Network. A draft will be conducted by respective General Managers as to which talent will be chosen exclusively for Monday Night Raw® or SmackDown.

For the first time in history on back-to-back nights, these two distinctive brands (Monday Night Raw and Tuesday’sSmackDown) will compete with each other for television ratings, live events, and pay-per-views.

“This is an exciting new era for WWE in which we will yet again reinvent ourselves by creating a second night of compelling live television,” said Kevin Dunn, Executive Producer, WWE.

“We’re already hearing the excitement among WWE fans for SmackDown’s new live format, and our audiences are eagerly anticipating the live draft and what it means for their favorite Superstars,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.

With 878 original episodes, SmackDown is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history, only behind Monday Night Raw at 1,203 episodes.

About USA Network

USA Network, the leader in cable entertainment, offers a powerful stable of dramatic, comedic and unscripted originals in more than 102 million U.S. homes. The network also features spectacular live television, a dynamic portfolio of acquired series and the best in blockbuster theatrical films and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. USA’s award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com. Watch USA Network anywhere: On Demand, online or across mobile and connected TVs.

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 25 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 180 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo. Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

TJR Thoughts: It might surprise people that they are doing the draft on Smackdown instead of Raw, but they want to pop a big rating on that first live Smackdown on July 19, so this is the way to do it. I like it.