Even More On The Major UPN-SmackDown! Story

Ben Johnson

As this reporter broke last night, there are absolutely no plans within UPN to cancel WWE SmackDown! PWInsider contacted the author of the story that started the commotion, and even she admitted that she made a mistake in claiming UPN had decided not to renew the show’s contract. Her statement now is that it “might” not be renewed.

Most believe the statement was simply a powerplay on the part of UPN, with multiple layers of ramifications. For starters, if WWE decides to take SD to another network, UPN can claim that they “had no interest in a show that did not specifically fit into their overall marketing strategy.” Additionally, with sister-network Spike TV in danger of losing WWE RAW to another cable channel, the statement might have been a warning that if WWE takes RAW elsewhere, SmackDown! might not have a home on a Viacom network.

In any event, anyone who claims a decision has been made to cancel SmackDown! is downright incorrect. In fact, it’s very possible that this was totally a business move, and UPN isn’t even considering not offering SD a renewal next year.

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