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WWE Raw and Smackdown to Air Commercial Free in First Hour of Dec. 25 and 26 Broadcasts

Next Monday will be the first time that WWE Raw will air on Christmas Day. Since WWE knows viewers watching at home will likely be with family, eating dinner and exhausted from all the festivities, they are trying something unique by going commercial free for the first hour of Raw on Christmas Day (December 25) and the next night on Smackdown too. Here’s the story from WWE.com:

Celebrate the holidays with WWE as USA Network airs the first hour of both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown LIVE commercial-free this Monday, Dec. 25, at 8/7 C and Tuesday, Dec. 26, at 8/7 C. This also marks the first time that USA Network will air Raw live on Christmas.

Raw and SmackDown LIVE are the No. 1 and No. 2 longest-running weekly episodic programs in U.S. primetime TV history and two of the most-watched, regularly scheduled programs on cable, airing live every Monday and Tuesday night on USA.

Averaging more viewers than any cable network in primetime, WWE programming is among the most socially active shows on TV, trending on Twitter 52 weeks per year. Raw and SmackDown LIVE have aired more original episodes than some of the most popular television series of all time, including The Simpsons, Gunsmoke, Lassie and Monday Night Football.

They also plugged the January 22 Raw as the 25 year anniversary of the show.

There will be major sports competition on Christmas night because there are two NFL games on Monday with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Houston Texans up first, but that should be done before Raw starts. The second NFL game is Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles, which is not a huge game. There are also NBA games on all day.

Raw and Smackdown are both taking place in Chicago next week.

Analysis: Great! That means more writing for me! I like the commercials. I’m only kidding although it does mean more writing. That part wasn’t a joke. I can understand wanting to do something to keep people tuned in.

If you’re wondering about how much time that is, usually they have four commercials during an hour of the broadcast (sometimes they do five) and those commercials will run for about three minutes. That means it would be an extra 12 minutes or so.

The Raw audience will be below average because it’s Christmas, but give WWE some credit for trying to entice people to watch by telling them there will be no commercials in the first hour. I expect heavy product placement, though.

It’s going to be so weird watching these shows in the first hour and not expecting a commercial when somebody is on the floor. What a shocking twist. Riveting television, I’m sure.