Significant Changes for UK WWE Fans

The end of the relationship which lasted for three decades between World Wrestling Entertainment and Sky Sports was announced this week. BT Sport has just signed a deal which took the flagship shows of WWE including SmackDown LIVE and Monday Night RAW from Sky Sports into their own very successful portfolio.

A Multi-year Deal

Starting January 2020 fans of WWE in the UK and Ireland won’t be able to watch their favourite wrestling action on Sky Sports anymore. WWE signed a deal with BT Sport which included the rights to broadcasting all their live shows as well as repeats during primetime. The network will air weekly shows like RAW and SmackDown. All WWE pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania, will be available on BT Sport Box Office which is the pay-per-view arm of BT Sport.

BT Sport

BT Sport is no stranger to providing gripping sports entertainment. They are also the home to MotoGP, UFC, UEFA Champions League, Premier League and Gallagher Premiership Rugby. They have proven themselves as innovative in providing sports content of premium quality.

An Exciting and New Stage in the History of WWE

The deal aims to create more engagement across Ireland and the UK and to achieve a more extensive reach by combined efforts of WWE and BT Sport to create content which will be available over social media and digital platforms. Both WWE and BT Sport expressed their excitement regarding the new deal. According to Andy Haworth, the Managing Director of Content and Strategy at BT Sport, WWE is considered as one of the most exciting sports brands on the globe with a rich history and is adored by loyal fans internationally. Therefore BT Sport is excited to add this to their already jam-packed and very successful portfolio.

Stefan Kastenmuller, Senior Vice President and Group General Manager of WWE share in the excitement and considers BT Sport to have benchmarked new technology in the sporting industry and see them as innovative partners to set the stage for a new era in WWE by creating exciting new content for the fans available on different platforms. The decision came shortly after All Elite Wrestling announced their partnership with ITV. All Elite Wrestling is relatively newly formed and is considered to be a rival to WWE.

Broadcasting Schedule

The planned airing times of RAW and SmackDown remain weekly, and it will have repeats in primetime for RAW set on Tuesdays, while SmackDown will air on Saturdays. A two-hour edition of RAW will be broadcasted on the BT Sport network together with a one-hour edition of RAW and a one-hour version of SmackDown. WrestleMania and SummerSlam will be available on the BT Sport Box Office, their pay-per-view division. The general feeling of the fans seems to reflect a positivity regarding the move especially among the younger viewers who are more digitally inclined and prefer to be entertained over different digital platforms.