By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE issued the following press release on Thursday to announce its new television deal with BT Sport.
WWE® (NYSE: WWE) and BT Sport today announced a new multi-year exclusive pay TV agreement that will make WWE’s weekly flagship programming available live in the U.K. and Ireland on BT Sport beginning January 2020.
BT Sport will air both Raw and SmackDown exclusively live every week, delivering edge-of-your-seat action and showcasing the world-class athleticism from global Superstars including Roman Reigns, Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston and Charlotte Flair. WWE and BT Sport will also partner across digital and social media platforms to create new content for fans that will increase reach for WWE and drive engagement across the UK and Ireland.
“We are incredibly excited by our new partnership with WWE. It is the most successful sports entertainment brand in the world, with a rich, fun and colorful history, loved by fans across the UK and Ireland. This is a brilliant addition for our customers and we can’t wait to get going in January,” said Andy Haworth, Managing Director Content and Strategy, BT Consumer.
“We are pleased to begin an exciting new chapter for WWE in the region as we join BT Sport’s innovative offering and impressive portfolio of premium sports content,” said Stefan Kastenmüller, WWE Senior Vice President & Group General Manager, EMEA.
WWE’s monthly pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania®, will be available on BT Sport Box Office. BT Sport will also carry same day primetime re-airs of Raw on Tuesdays and SmackDown on Saturdays, a two-hour version of Raw, one-hour version of Raw and one-hour version of SmackDown across its portfolio of channels.
BT Sport is home to the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, Gallagher Premiership Rugby, MotoGP and UFC.
Powell’s POV: The new deal is presumably lucrative for WWE, but it’s a step back from current partner Sky Sports, according to Dot Net staffer Haydn Gleed’s recent blog.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Brian Fritz of the Between The Ropes podcast discussing WWE’s creative and ratings struggles, Bray Wyatt following the Firefly Funhouse, WWE Stomping Grounds, NJPW G1 Opening Night, and ROH’s issues, what would happen if AEW opted to run head-to-head with WWE Raw, and much more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Todd Martin on his background, attending pro wrestling events in Japan, the NJPW G1 Tournament, why lucha libre companies haven't been as successful as NJPW in the United States, AEW optimism, covering pro wrestling and MMA, and more (68:57)...