Sony Pictures Networks India Extends WWE Deal Amid Growing Local Interest
Sony Pictures Networks India and WWE have struck a five-year exclusive extension to their broadcast deal for WWE’s weekly flagship programming and localized content in India and the Indian subcontinent.
As part of the agreement, SPN will have the rights to air Raw, SmackDown, NXT as well as WWE pay-per-view specials live on its sports and digital platforms in English, Hindi and regional languages.
The expanded partnership also provides SPN the rights to WWE Network through SonyLIV, SPN’s OTT platform. In addition and for the first time, SPN will curate content from WWE’s extensive video library which includes live events, iconic matches, interviews with Legends, reality shows and documentaries on its own platforms.
WWE says it will also return to India with live events and stars will visit the region for promotional tours to engage with fans.
India is a large and growing market for WWE, which rates highly on local YouTube and Facebook. Last year, WWE hosted its largest ever tryout, where more than 70 athletes from India showcased their abilities in Mumbai. Four Indian recruits were selected to begin training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Rajesh Kaul, Head Sports and Chief Revenue Officer Distribution, Sony Pictures Networks India, said, “WWE has been consistently ranking in the top three properties across all sports networks in India, dominating the sports entertainment space. We are delighted to extend our partnership with WWE in a first of its kind deal that will give us an increased exposure to valuable content and reach out to a broader viewer base across India on multiple platforms.”
James Rosenstock, WWE Executive Vice-President, International, commented, “India is a strategically important market for WWE and Sony Pictures Networks has been an extraordinary partner in helping to grow our fanbase in the region making it one of the most-watched sports properties. The expanded partnership gives our passionate fans new opportunities to engage with the WWE brand.”