Why DirecTV Customers Could Lose WWE SmackDown Soon

WWE fans could potentially get caught up in the ongoing negotiations between Fox and DirecTV, resulting in customers of the latter potentially losing access to Friday Night SmackDown. The current carriage deal between the two is set to expire at Midnight on Dec. 2, and while negotiations between the two are ongoing Fox is already warning DirecTV customers about losing access to their "favorite Fox programming." On top of news crawls issuing a warning across its various networks, it launched a new website warning fans about everything they will miss out on in 2023. SmackDown was one of those named programs alongside the likes of the FIFA World Cup and portions of the NFL regular season. 

"FOX remains committed to reaching a fair agreement with DIRECTV for the continued distribution of our networks. Despite our best efforts for months, we regret that DIRECTV continues to demand unprecedented special treatment that represents a wholesale change to our long-standing relationship and is out of step with marketplace terms," the website reads. "As such we are compelled to alert viewers who are DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream and U-Verse subscribers that they could lose access to their favorite FOX programming beginning at midnight, December 2, including the NFL on FOX, the Big Ten College Football Championship on FOX, the FIFA World Cup™ on FOX and FS1, FOX local news, and more. While FOX continues to seek an agreement benefiting all parties, our priority is ensuring viewers' ability to access all FOX Sports, FOX Entertainment and local FOX station programming."

DirecTV has since released a statement saying that the outcome of the negotiations "depends solely on Fox," and later accused the corporation of using "the same old, tired programmer scare tactics." WWE has not released any kind of statement on the situation.  WWE inked a five-year deal with Fox to air the Blue Brand each week on its flagship network that began in October 2019. Negotiations on a new television rights deal are expected to begin next year.

Stay tuned for more updates on the situation as they become available. This week's Friday Night SmackDown will air at 8 p.m. ET on Fox and will see the fallout from this past Saturday's Survivor Series