The Smackdown will be handed out 24 hours earlier, when Syfy and WWE move the long-running grapple-fest to Thursday nights, starting Jan. 15, 2015 at 8/7c.
“Quite simply, more young men watch television on Thursday nights than on Fridays,” Syfy EVP Michael Engleman explained in a statement. “Among Men 18-49, PUTs (persons using television) are 15 percent higher compared to Fridays, expanding the potential audience for SmackDown. Since the majority of broadcast programming skews female, we’re also using Thursday nights to counterprogram.”
SmackDown currently averages 3.1 million viewers, beating all Friday primetime viewing on any cable network.