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WWE Raw and Smackdown switch to BT Sport from January 2020

By reviews / 20. June 2019

The date WWE starts on BT Sport has been revealed. The UK and Ireland broadcasts of both of World Wrestling Entertainment’s flagship shows, Raw and Smackdown Live, will switch from Sky to BT Sport from January 2020.

In addition, BT Sport will make WWE pay-per-view events available on its Box Office channel, including marquee shows Wrestlemania, The Royal Rumble and Summerslam.

Sky has been the home of WWE in the UK for three decades, but news on a new deal started to emerge earlier this year. WWE is also switching Smackdown Live in the US to a new channel – Fox Sports – from October as it looks to reinvigorate its global viewing figures.

Raw, for example, had more than 10 million viewers during the 90s Attitude Era, whereas that has dropped to just over two million per show last year.

The company also has a new major rival in All Elite Wrestling (AEW), which sold out its second major pay-per-view event in minutes and has signed lucrative live TV deals with ITV in the UK and TNT in the States.

BT Sport will push its new acquisitions hard, also signing a deal to create new content across digital and social media platforms.

“We are incredibly excited by our new partnership with WWE. It is the most successful sports entertainment brand in the world, with a rich, fun and colorful history, loved by fans across the UK and Ireland,” said BT Consumer’s managing director, Andy Haworth.

“This is a brilliant addition for our customers and we can’t wait to get going in January.”

WWE Network, the brand’s digital streaming platform, is available across multiple devices and is free to subscribe to for the first month. It houses weekly NXT shows, plus the incredible, relatively new NXT UK weekly programme.

Original source: https://www.pocket-lint.com/tv/news/bt/148422-wwe-raw-and-smackdown-switch-to-bt-sport-from-january-2020

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