WWE and Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited (SPN) today announced a five-year extension with an expanded broadcast agreement.
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.
“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,” said James Rosenstock, WWE Executive Vice-President, International. “The expanded partnership gives our passionate fans new opportunities to engage with the WWE brand.”
The expanded partnership also provides SPN the rights to WWE Network which hosts thousands of hours of content to be made available to audiences in India exclusively 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, documentaries and more, on its own platforms.
“WWE has been consistently ranking in the top three properties across all sports networks in India, dominating the sports entertainment space,” said Rajesh Kaul, Head Sports and Chief Revenue Officer Distribution, Sony Pictures Networks India. “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.”
WWE will also return to India with even bigger live events and Superstars will visit the region for promotional tours to engage with fans. India ranks #1 for WWE YouTube consumption and #1 in WWE Facebook followers. In addition, WWE has been actively recruiting elite athletes and performers from the country. Last year, WWE hosted its largest tryout in history, where more than 70 top athletes from India showcased their abilities in Mumbai. Four Indian recruits were selected to begin training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.