World Wresting Entertainment? And BSKYB Sign Unprecedented Five-Year Television Deal
New Agreement Provides Extensive WWE? Programming in the UK
STAMFORD, Conn., and LONDON, UK, October 4, 2004 ? World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) has expanded its 18-year relationship with British Sky Broadcasting (LSE:BSY.L) in the UK, signing a new five-year distribution agreement for WWE’s weekly programming, and pay-per-view specials, which takes effect in January 2005.
Under the new agreement, BSKYB – which provides WWE programming to more than 10 million households in the UK and Republic of Ireland – 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. BSKYB will show eight events annually on Sky Box Office, including perennial favorites WrestleMania?, Royal Rumble?, Summerslam? and Survivor Series?.
Shane McMahon, Executive Vice President, WWE Global Media, hailed the new agreement as the start of an expanded presence in the UK. “We value the UK market, and see it as a natural stepping off point for furthering expansion of the WWE brand around the world,” said McMahon. “We have had a long and beneficial partnership with BSKYB. WWE is excited about our expanding relationship and the business opportunities it offers.”
Andrew Whitaker, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, WWE International Television Distribution, added, “The new agreement takes WWE and BSKYB into a third decade of business together. There is no greater testimony to the mutually beneficial nature of this special relationship. We look forward to further expanding our programming and presence in the UK working with BSKYB.”
Vic Wakeling, Managing Director of Sport at BSKYB, said: “WWE Wrestling has been with us since our network began and a generation of fans have enjoyed their events and weekly shows on Sky. Now we can offer our viewers WWE for the next five years – and we’ll have more shows for them, too.”