By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE (NYSE: WWE) and Māori Television, New Zealand’s indigenous broadcaster, today announced a new agreement to broadcast WWE’s flagship programs Raw® and SmackDown® on free-to-air TV in English and te reo Māori for the first time in New Zealand.
Beginning February 24, 2018, Māori Television channel (English and te reo Māori) will televise a one-hour version of Raw at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and a one-hour version of SmackDown at 7:30 p.m. on Sundays. The Te Reo channel will broadcast a te reo Māori version of Raw on Mondays at 9 p.m.
“We are excited to partner with Māori Television to deliver localized WWE content in New Zealand,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Co-President. “This new agreement to televise Raw and SmackDown on free-to-air TV in both English and te reo Māori for the first time allows us to deliver our unique blend of action-packed, family friendly entertainment to our passionate fans in the region.”
“Māori Television is thrilled to embark on this new relationship with WWE, a leading global entertainment company as we set to further engage new audiences with te reo Māori,” said Mike Rehu, Head of Content, Māori Television. “All Māori Television WWE content will feature New Zealand’s indigenous language as a component and we have engaged with some of the finest te reo Māori experts in the land to weave reo and tikanga into all platforms of broadcasts.”
Māori Television will also broadcast WWE highlight shows WWE Experience® at 7.30 p.m. and This Week® at 11:10 p.m. on Fridays. Fans can watch all programs on 14-day authenticated VOD catch up through Māori Television’s website, www.maoritelevision.com.
Powell’s POV: It’s too bad it’s too late for another Bushwhackers run given that both of the New Zealand natives are now in their 70s. This is obviously another revenue stream for WWE, which continues to expand the localization of its product in various international markets.
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