Mediaweek had a report yesterday afternoon with more details to the split between WWE and the CW Network. SmackDown will no longer air on the CW after Friday, September 12, 2008, which coincides with the end of the fall network TV season.
The report includes information from insiders at CW, with their general belief that WWE’s ratings in the key adult 18-49 demographic were slowing. WWE’s product, especially SmackDown, has been strongly marketed toward kids recently, which has led to lower adult demographic ratings.
From Mediaweek’s report: "The CW insiders said the network was not exactly excited about renewing, since the SmackDown adult 18-34 rating this season had decreased to a 1.4, which made it only the seventh highest-rated show on the network in prime time."
The network also feels that WWE’s SmackDown, despite its strong overall ratings, isn’t a good fit on the CW Network, as viewers tune in for SmackDown, but don’t watch any other of CW’s programming. The report quoted one CW insider: "No one who watched SmackDown watched any of our other shows on any other night." The lack of crossover viewership for other TV shows on the CW Network hurt the network financially, as they couldn’t package commercial timeslots to advertisers with "other CW female-skewing shows." The report quotes a CW insider, who says, "I think we just knew it was time to move in another direction."