As the former Executive Director of SmackDown, Eric Bischoff has detailed what the FOX network really thought of WWE at the start of their partnership.
Friday Night SmackDown began airing on the FOX network with its 4 October 2019 broadcast, beginning a five-year deal reportedly worth over $2 million per year. At the time of the show debuting on FOX, Eric Bischoff worked as the blue brand’s Executive Director.
During an interview with Sportskeeda Wrestling, the WWE Hall of Famer revealed how the network wasn’t particularly happy with how their relationship began with WWE:
“I think the expectations of what WWE was going to bring to FOX back in 2019, because I was there and I was gently really a part of it at the very tail end. I think they were pretty disappointed originally, but if you look at, you know it’s two million plus viewers a week. So I think it’s doing pretty well. I know, I don’t know, I believe from an ad sales perspective doing very, very well. And that’s a market that they’ve cultivated [WWE] for 20 or 30 years.”
Eric Bischoff remained in the role as SmackDown Executive Director for a few months, being replaced by Bruce Prichard after just two SmackDown episodes aired on FOX. Bischoff was allegedly let go from the company because “significant promises were made that we don’t feel were upheld“.
The 67-year-old was aware that he wasn’t fit for the role, meaning his release from the company didn’t come as a surprise. He remains on good terms with WWE, appearing on company programming as recently as this year.
He’s also made a couple of appearances for All Elite Wrestling, with Eric Bischoff last hosting a party for The Inner Circle prior to the 2021 Double or Nothing pay-per-view.