As I reported last month, BT Sport will be the new home of WWE programming in the United Kingdom. The deal begins next January.
Sky TV has been broadcasting WWE programming into homes of the UK for the last 30 years.
Both parties announced that Raw and SmackDown Live will air on BT Sport while BT Sport Box Office will air all of WWE’s pay-per-view events.
Below is the official press release –
WWE® AND BT SPORT ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP
LONDON, ENGLAND, June 20, 2019 – 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
Blake’s Take: While not exactly a secret, its quite sad to see Sky TV lose the WWE programming rights. Mine, and many others first introduction to the company was through Sky. I’m not sure what the viewership will be like on BT Sport. Like Sky it’s a paid TV channel. Reports do say that the numbers for BT Sport subscriptions are significantly lower than Sky’s. Maybe this acquisition will raise those numbers? The fact that both companies will be teaming up via social media to create new content is an interesting idea.