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.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Konnan, who discusses his return to the ring for MLW and shares the crazy story of how he started in pro wrestling.