After taping Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and WrestleMania 36 in recent weeks, WWE resumed its live schedule on Friday with SmackDown and will continue to run live until further notice.
Originally, WWE planned to tape future episodes over the course of the week and have content in the can to air on USA and FOX. But on Friday, Vince McMahon made the decision to resume live events.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, WWE's television contracts with NBC Universal (USA Network) and FOX reportedly only allow for a certain number of taped episodes per year. For Raw, WWE is reportedly only allowed three taped episodes per year.
It is unclear if the networks played any role in McMahon's decision to resume live events.
WWE put out a statement on April 12 defending their decision to resume live events. The statement read, "We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times. We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination, and perseverance."
Fightful will continue to update fans on WWE's schedule as more information is known.
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