WWE Reaches for the Sky in U.K.10/04/2004 5:53 AM Eastern
British Sky Broadcasting Group plc has inked a new five-year distribution agreement for World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s weekly programming and pay-per-view specials, the two parties announced Monday.
Under terms of the deal, BSkyB will carry all nine first-run hours of WWE's seven weekly programs: WWE Raw, WWE SmackDown!, WWE Heat, WWE Velocity, WWE Bottom Line and WWE After Burn on Sky Sports Channel, and WWE Experience on Sky One.
Six monthly specials will also be shown on Sky Sports, the companies added.
And BSkyB will show eight events annually on its “Sky Box Office” PPV service, including WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, Summerslam and Survivor Series.
“We value the U.K. market and see it as a natural stepping-off point for furthering expansion of the WWE brand around the world," WWE Global Media executive vice president Shane McMahon said in a prepared statement.
"We have had a long and beneficial partnership with BSkyB,” he added. “WWE is excited about our expanding relationship and the business opportunities it offers.”
BSkyB provides WWE programming to more than 10 million households in the United Kingdom and Ireland.