Broadcasting and Cable has an article up on the return of WWE Superstars to WGN. Here are some of the details:
* WWE Superstars will debut in April.
* WWE Superstars will be a first run show, which means it will not be a magazine or clip style show, but more like a Sunday Night Heat or Velocity style show.
* WWE Superstars will air at 8PM and then again at 11PM on Thursday nights.
* There will be a Saturday replay of the show, during the middle of the day.
* WWE and WGN have agreed to a two-year deal for the show.
* The Tribune Company, which is the parent company to WGN, is paying a licensing fee to WWE for the show.
* The Tribune Company finalized the deal after they had filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
* The deal for WWE Superstars only includes WGN, and none of the other 23 stations the Tribune company owns, but they didn't rule out the possibility of expanded distribution down the road.
WGN sent out the following press release today:
WGN America Enters WWE(R) Ring With WWE Superstars!
Original Program to Air Exclusively on WGN America Beginning April 2009
NEW YORK and STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- WGN America and World Wrestling Entertainment(R) (NYSE: WWE) enter the ring with a new television partnership. WWE Superstars, a first run, original program will air exclusively on WGN America, Tribune Broadcasting's national Superstation.
The action-packed WWE Superstars, part of a new multi-year agreement with WGN America, will be produced by WWE and will feature Superstars and Divas from the entire WWE roster. The hour-long weekly program, scheduled to debut in April 2009, will provide WGN America viewers the chance to see Superstars and Divas from all three WWE franchises in one program. WWE Superstars is scheduled to air on Thursday nights at 8 and 11pm ET with an additional run on the weekend.
"WWE is one of the great American brands on television and we are thrilled to announce our partnership. The addition of WWE Superstars to WGN America's lineup signals our intention to add more tent-pole programs to our network brand strategy. Going forward, we will play to win," said Ed Wilson, Tribune Company's Chief Revenue Officer and Tribune Broadcasting President.
"WWE programming has a tremendous track record of consistently delivering a diverse and advertiser friendly audience. We fully anticipate that WWE Superstars will be a ratings winner for WGN America," said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Vice President of Television Production.
"WGN America is a general entertainment network featuring original and syndicated series, major league sports including baseball and basketball, as well as theatrical movies. We are committed to delivering compelling, original first-run programming for our viewers and WWE Superstars is the perfect illustration of our strategy," said Sean Compton, Senior Vice President of Programming & Development, Tribune Broadcasting.
ABOUT WGN AMERICA:
WGN America is a broad entertainment network and destination for audiences across America. Part of Tribune Broadcasting Company, WGN America is nationally distributed via cable, satellite and telco with entertainment programming consisting of cable exclusives, first-run programs, blockbuster movies and live sports. www.wgnamerica.com
ABOUT WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT:
Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to https://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, copyrights and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, feature films, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.