WWE clears first terrestrial deal in Italy

CANNES: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) has secured its first terrestrial deal in Italy with the sale of 52 hours of WWE’s highly rated SmackDown! to Berlusconi’s Italia Uno.

The company has also made several new deals for free-to-air broadcast and Pay-TV in Latin America and Asia, it was announced today by International Television for WWE (International) Ltd Senior Vice President and Managing Director Andrew Whitaker. The new sales of first run episodes total over 1000 hours.

“We are delighted to have finalised our new terrestrial deal in Italy as it greatly complements our existing output deals on the Pay-TV platforms. Additionally, our new deals in Latin America and Asia reflect the impact that our programming offers worldwide, even in the current marketplace when acquisition budgets are at minimal levels,” said Whitaker. “We respect and appreciate our buyers confidence in WWE’s programming and are certain that our branded product will deliver the anticipated advertising, subscription and viewership results,” he added.

In addition to the sale to Italia Uno, WWE comes to Mipcom with a significant deal signed with Chilevision, the broadcast television station in Chile, for over 100 hours of WWE’s flagship titles Raw and SmackDown!. Chilevision is part of Claxson Interactive, one of Latin America’s most successful multiplatform programming companies that operates under the Cisneros Group umbrella of companies.

WWE's other deals in Latin America include:

* A deal with Ecuavisa, the leading free-to-air broadcaster in Ecuador, for a total of 134 hours of programming, including Raw, SmackDown! and the 12 yearly WWE Specials.

* WWE has completed a renewal deal for Pay TV with MVS in Mexico for 88 hours of programming, including Raw and the 12 yearly WWE Specials. MVS is the leading Pay TV platform in Mexico with a subscriber base of over two million.

* Bolivision, the second most popular station in Bolivia, has renewed a deal with WWE for 52 hours of Raw for free-to-air broadcast.

Looking to the territory of Asia, the company has signed deals for over 600 hours of programming, which include:

* Adding Japan to the Global rollout of WWE pay-per-view, Sky Perfect TV has signed a new three-year deal to air the 12 yearly WWE Specials on pay-per-view for a total of 36 hours. Sky Perfect is the largest Pay-TV platform in Japan whose predominant equity stakeholder is Jupiter Communications.

* TV3, which is currently the number one leading terrestrial broadcaster in Malaysia, has renewed SmackDown! and Bottom Line for free-to-air broadcast for a total of 208 hours. SmackDown! is the highest rated English speaking program in Malaysia.

* WWE has signed a three-year renewal deal with ASTRO in Malaysia, the largest multichannel TV platform in Asia, for 420 hours of programming, including its leading title Raw and the 12 yearly WWE Specials.

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