WWE issued the following press release to Prowrestling.net on Thursday to announce the availability of WWE Network in China.
WWE® (NYSE: WWE) and PPTV (a Suning Sports Media company) today announced that WWE Network will be available in China for the first time beginning on Friday, August 18, launching exclusively on PPTV as a subscription video-on-demand service featuring all WWE live pay-per-view events, includingWrestleMania® and the upcoming SummerSlam®.
PPTV customers can download the PPTV App and watch WWE Network content via smart TVs, set-top boxes, mobile devices and tablets, as well as on www.wwe.cn, www.PPTV.com andwww.Sports.PPTV.com. Fans can sign up in time to watch one of WWE’s marquee events of the year, SummerSlam®, live in Mandarin, on Monday, August 21 at 7:00 AM Beijing time.
“When we began our exclusive partnership with WWE, we brought WWE’s signature programmingRaw® and SmackDown® to PPTV and received a great response from WWE fans in China,” said Godfrey Zeng, Executive Vice President of Suning Sports Media, parent company of PPTV. “In April, we offered WrestleMania as a pay-per-view event, and again, our fans responded enthusiastically. We are now launching WWE Network on PPTV and presenting the entire lineup of WWE pay-per-views and other premium content to continue to better serve WWE fans in China.”
“PPTV is a tremendous partner and has been key in helping us engage with WWE fans in China and further establishing our brand in this important market,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “With this launch, WWE Network is now available in every market, reaching more than 180 countries around the world, delivering all our premium live events and an archive of action-packed, family-friendly entertainment that has thrilled WWE audiences for years.”
WWE Network on PPTV will showcase WWE’s major live events and ground-breaking original series, including NXT® and 205 Live™; reality shows, such as Total Divas; documentaries; and classic matches from WWE’s storied history. PPTV will continue to expand WWE Network’s video-on-demand library, adding more than 1,000 hours of content over the next 12 months.
In addition to offering WWE Network as a subscription service, PPTV will also offer its customers premium live events such as WrestleMania®, SummerSlam®, Royal Rumble® and Survivor Series® as well as other WWE Network Specials on a pay-per-view basis.
Last year, WWE announced an exclusive multi-year agreement with PPTV to deliver its flagship shows, Raw and SmackDown, live in Mandarin. In addition, WWE short-form content is available on PPTV’s digital platforms, and PPTV leverages popular digital and social platforms, including WeChat and Weibo, to share WWE content with fans throughout China. This year, WrestleMania was made available in China for the first time, via PPTV.
Powell’s POV: WWE is finally launching the network in China. WWE doesn’t offer a breakdown of network subs per country, but it will be interesting to see if there’s a noticeable increase in the international sub numbers when they release their next quarterly report.