Television

WWE to undertake 8 international tours next year

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CONNECTICUT- The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced its international live event tour schedule for 2003. The eight tours will visit five continents and include visits to countries such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand.

As reported earlier by indiantelevision.com the WWE will tour India for the first time in six years next month. Two of the stars are expected to pay a visit next week to generate awareness about the event. Ten Sports will be the broadcast partner for the event. This will mark the culmination of its international tour calendar for the year amounting to 15 events in all. Next year the organisation expects to double live events held in international territories. The WWE held just two international live events last year. Additional international touring helped to provide a 42 per cent increase in international revenues in fiscal year 2002 which were $31.4 million.

The first tour for 2003 will be The WWE Far East Tour January 2003.. Events will be held at the Jamsil Basketball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea on 23 January and the National Yoyogi Stadium (No. 1 Gymnasium), Tokyo on 24 and 25 January. Other tours tentatively scheduled for later next year will be:

-- a February tour of South Africa, with stops in Johannesburg, Durban and CapeTown

-- a May tour of South America, with events in Mexico, Chile and Brazil

-- a June tour of Europe, with stops in France, Italy, Scotland and England

-- a July tour of Asia, including events in Thailand and Japan

-- an August tour of Australia, with events in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne

-- an October tour of Europe, with events in Germany and the United Kingdom

-- a December tour of Asia, with stops in Japan, Singapore and Australia .

WWE Executive VP International Business Development Roger Marment said, " We could not undertake this type of international touring schedule without the brand extension that established two separate touring companies representing our RAW and SmackDown! television brands. Television and live events represent the backbone of our business and drive the success of our consumer product, home entertainment and wireless and digital initiatives."

In addition, new licensing agreements have been forged in the Pacific Rim and the United Kingdom as a result of interest piqued by expanded international touring, and the increasing international popularity of WWE television programming, which can be seen in more than130 countries.

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