WWF/WWE SmackDown! Logos: The WWF (World Wrestling Federation) changed its name to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) after a lawsuit by the original WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature).
Top Right: WWF SmackDown!, used from 1999-2001
Top Left: SmackDown! logo used from 2002 (during the brand extension) until present (used as a logo for international broadcasts.)
Bottom Center: WWE Friday Night SmackDown!, used from September 9, 2005 - January 18, 2008
Bottom Right: WWE Friday Night SmackDown! [HD-TV], used from Jan. 25, 2008 - present, used as the High-Definition (HD) logo.
Article (below), Source: MediaWeek.com
The CW Shuts Down 'SmackDown'
FEBRUARY 08, 2008 -
The CW has terminated its relationship with Vince and Linda McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment and will no longer air WWE SmackDown after Sept. 12, 2008.
A brief statement by the network said, “After a successful decade of SmackDown on both UPN and The CW, The CW and World Wrestling Entertainment have agreed to conclude our partnership. We are grateful to Linda and Vince McMahon and their entire organization for providing great entertainment to our viewers for so many years.”
The wrestling show first began airing on UPN and was picked up for The CW when UPN merged with The WB two years ago.
The negotiating window for a new deal between The CW and WWE ended on Jan. 31, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, and a new rights fee could not be agreed upon.
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.
Another issue that led to the CW’s decision to drop SmackDown was that the show was entirely young-male oriented and then network was not able to use it’s Friday night telecast to promote its female-skewing Sunday programming.
“There was absolutely no audience flow to any of our other shows,” a CW insider said. “No one who watched SmackDown watched any of our other shows on any other night.
SmackDown was originally a time buy on UPN, where it first aired beginning 10 years ago. Several years ago, UPN began selling the ad time on SmackDown and when UPN and The WB merged into The CW two years ago, The CW sales staff began selling ad time for it.
Selling ads on SmackDown became challenged, sources said, because it could not be sold in combination or as part of packages with other CW female-skewing shows.
“I think we just knew it was time to move in another direction,” a CW insider said.