It's interesting that a story came out this week that WWE was trying to push their cuckold angle with Rusev, Lashley, and Lana even farther than they did by giving Rusev erectile dysfunction because it turns out that it's WWE getting cucked this month by Major League Baseball. MLB will be all up in WWE Smackdown's timeslot on Fox this week, taking over Fridays for at least one week and possibly two in October.
"Welcome to October 2020 – One of the best months in sports history," Fox's official Twitter account tweeted, stretching the definitions of both "best" and "sports." They also included a calendar showing the sports programs airing that month. While Smackdown is at least included in the network's claim of a great month for sports, unfortunately, the show will be preempted on October 23rd for Game 3 of the World Series. Additionally, Smackdown could also be preempted on October 16th, assuming the National League Championship series needs a fifth game.
If Smackdown is preempted, it will likely air on FS1 instead, just like it did last year. However, Smackdown's audience is likely to be significantly smaller on the cable network. Last year, Smackdown drew just 888,000 viewers on October 25th when it aired on FS1, and the base rating of a regular episode of Smackdown on Fox was a few hundred thousand viewers higher than it is these days. In the 18-49 demographic that week, Smackdown scored a .27.
In the grand scheme of things, the preemption is unlikely to have a long-term effect on Smackdown. If anything, half the audience getting a potential two-week break from the show might allow them to recharge from the weekly grind of watching wrestling. And when AEW Dynamite and NXT were moved around the TV schedule last month for the NBA and NHL playoffs, both shows performed well during and after the changes.