Late Thursday the WWE issued the following announcement:
“After a successful decade of SmackDown on both UPN and The CW, World Wrestling Entertainment and The CW have agreed to conclude our partnership. Since CW's exclusive negotiation period ran out as of last Thursday, January 31, we have been contacted and have been in negotiations with other networks. WWE SmackDown will continue to air on The CW until the conclusion of the 2007-08 broadcast season. We are grateful to Les Moonves, Dawn Ostroff, and their entire organization for bringing WWE SmackDown to millions of viewers for so many years.”
Numerous reports about where the show might end up, including a detailed one in Variety.
As the Variety story notes, wrestling didn't really fit with the rest of The CW's lineup, which skews far more female. And, if memory serves, the financial terms of the WWE's arrangements with UPN and The CW were very good to WWE, less so for the networks.
But in a week that also saw HBO dropping "Inside the NFL" (although reports indicate it could land on another cable outlet), there has been a good bit of tough news for a couple of big brand names in TV sports.