WWE issued the following press release to announce their new television deal in South Korea.
WWE (NYSE: WWE) and IB SPORTS, a South Korean sports broadcasting media company, will extend their partnership into its 13thyear with a new agreement to broadcast WWE programming live for the first time in South Korea.
Beginning Tuesday, January 2, 2018, IB SPORTS will televise Raw live at 10 a.m. every Tuesday (replay Saturdays 10 p.m.) and SmackDown live at 10 a.m. Wednesdays (replay Sundays 10 p.m.) with additional airings of one-hour versions of Raw and SmackDown throughout the week. Fans can also watch all of WWE’s monthly special events live on IB SPORTS, including WrestleMania®, SummerSlam®, Survivor Series® and Royal Rumble®.
“IB SPORTS is a valued partner who shares our vision and passion for engaging and entertaining our fans,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “Our partner’s commitment to broadcast WWE programming live for the first time in South Korea allows us to continue showcasing our unique blend of action-packed, family friendly entertainment across the country.”
“IB SPORTS is proud to announce its renewed partnership with WWE,” said Kim Jung-hwan, CEO of IB SPORTS. “This will be a boost to our sports and entertainment programming and we are excited to introduce live WWE content in our programs for the first time in South Korean TV history to fans across the nation.”
All programs will be available with Korean voiceover commentary and on IB SPORTS’ TV Everywhere platform for authenticated subscribers, and on its 14-day VOD catchup window. Additionally, IB SPORTS will broadcast previous seasons of Total Divas® and WWE highlight shows AfterBurn® and BottomLine®.
Powell’s POV: It’s odd that WWE signs deals that include the airing of their pay-per-view events for free as that would seem to work against selling WWE Network in those markets.