WWE issued the following press release on Thursday to announce its new television deal with J Sports in Japan.
WWE (NYSE: WWE) and J SPORTS will extend their partnership into its 22nd year with a new agreement to broadcast WWE’s flagship shows Raw® and SmackDown® live in Japan. Beginning Tuesday, January 1, 2019, J SPORTS 4 will air Raw live at 10 a.m. JST on Tuesdays and SmackDown live at 10 a.m. JST on Wednesdays.
Additionally, beginning Monday, January 7, 2019, J SPORTS 3 will air a one-hour version of Raw at 10 p.m. on Mondays and a one-hour version of SmackDown at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays. Fans can also order all of WWE’s monthly specials, including WrestleMania®, SummerSlam®,Survivor Series® and Royal Rumble® on J SPORTS On Demand with Japanese subtitles.
“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with J SPORTS and air Raw and SmackDown live in Japan,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Co-President. “This partnership allows us to continue showcasing our unique blend of action-packed, family-friendly entertainment to fans across the country.”
“It has been more than 20 years since J SPORTS and WWE tapped into a partnership to broadcast WWE programming,” said Shin Kinoshita, President, J SPORTS. “We are pleased to extend our partnership to broadcast WWE programming live, and add WWE’s monthly specials to the programming lineup for all WWE fans in Japan to enjoy.”
Powell’s POV: I’m not sure how WWE expects to grow the network in countries where they include their pay-per-view events as part of the television deal, though perhaps the on demand pay-per-view options presumably pay more in the short term.
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