Ten Sports renews deal with WWE till 2009-end

MUMBAI: Ten Sports has renewed, for another five years, telecast rights for what has been its bread and butter mainstay since its launch in 2002 - World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The Dubai-based sports broadcaster announced today the renewal of its deal to carry the hugely popular WWE content in India and the sub-continent.

The agreement covers more than 2,500 hours of first run programming, including flagship brands Raw and SmackDown!, across the five years of the deal that runs from 1 January, 2005, through to 31 December, 2009. The nine first run hours per week of WWE original programming have become one of the hottest sports properties (after live cricket of course) on Indian television and will be broadcast throughout India and the subcontinent.

We are delighted to extend our very strong relationship with the WWE. Ten Sports experience with the WWE is that the programmes appeal to every demographic sector of our viewer base, including some very surprising ones - such as housewives!Chris McDonald, CEO, Taj Television Ltd, owners of Ten Sports was quoted in an official release as saying.

Ten Sports also anounced plans to spruce up the WWE programmes with various innovative promotions in the near future. We look forward to building up on the WWE property by introducing new and innovative promotional angles around the programmes,McDonald said.

Ten Sports will also continue with its popular WWE contests, which offers an opportunity to the fans to watch live WWE action in the United States of America.

Aside from RAW and SmackDown!, the contract also includes the telecast of other popular shows Heat, Velocity, The Bottom Line, After Burn and The WWE Experience - as well as 14 annual special television events.

Commenting on the new deal, Andrew Whitaker, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, WWE International Television said WWE s relationship with Ten Sports goes back to July 2001, and we are delighted to enter into a new five-year relationship with them. WWE programming ideally complements Ten Sports first class cricket offering and is undoubtedly one of the most sought after sports entertainment rights in India.

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