WWE Officially Announce Brand Split - SmackDown Going Live

WWE Draft 2016 will mean Shane and Stephanie have a show each.

wwe draft
WWE.com

WWE's brand extension is returning this July which will see SmackDown aired live permanently for the first time ever, reports Variety.

A draft will be held before the new SmackDown's launch date to determine which wrestlers on the roster will be assigned to which program.

Thursday night's SmackDown, which moved to USA Network in January, will be broadcast live for two hours every week starting Tuesday, July 19, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This means that along with RAW, there will be five hours of live WWE programming on the network each week.

There has been a growing desire by TV networks to find more ways to air content that needs to be seen as it airs. Obviously, with SmackDown being taped on Tuesdays and aired on Thursdays, it doesn't fit the mould. Viewers can currently skip the adverts that support the shows, something they can't do if the are watching the show live.

Speaking to Variety, Vince McMahon said: "WWE's flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV.

This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.

WWE released a video announcement by Shane and Stephanie McMahon where the speculated who should take the new SmackDown on. Both put their cases forward with Shane claiming the show needs a "risk taker," while former SmackDown GM Steph states the show needs a "seasoned veteran." Both agree the new SmackDown needs a McMahon.

Looks like Shane and Steph could have a show each by the time July 19th rolls around... watch this space.

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Content Producer

Video & written Content Producer for WhatCulture Wrestling. NCTJ trained journalist. BA Hons, Sports Journalism.

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