WWE adds 25% ad revenue growth for Ten Sports

MUMBAI: “In the last quarter, we saw 25 per cent growth in ad revenue from WWE,” says Ten Sports CEO Rajesh Sethi while adding, “We are expecting this to jump higher by at least 50 per cent in the next calendar year with our fresh content and programming lineup.”

The network in the last quarter has added four new advertisers from FMCG and e-commerce sector, who have previously not advertised with WWE.

The optimistic note comes as Ten Sports gears itself to launch the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in a new avatar for Indian audiences, next year. Properties like RAW and specials will simulcast from USA on Ten Sports, beginning January 2015.

Explaining the reason behind doing so even though the programme will be aired as early as 5:30-6:00 am, Sethi says, “We are trying to kill the time gap of 72 hours that exists today and move as close as possible towards live feed. Secondly, this will also help kill digital piracy which we want to curtail.”

The network with this move wants to provide flexibility and opportunity for fans to watch WWE as close as possible.  To avoid being affected by ratings, the channel will have repeats of the show through the week. It will also air the repeat telecast of RAW with Hindi commentary. As it sees the Hindi feed as a value addition to the property. “WWE is a property that has deep penetration in the Indian hinterlands and is not confined to tier I and tier II cities. To further expand our base and coverage of WWE, we are going ahead with the Hindi feed for some programmes and after measuring the response, might get into other regional languages also,” he adds.

The lineup of WWE has been changing from the  last three to four months as fictional aspects are being brought in, which is where female audience share been able to connect better to the property. “In addition, we have the young people who are our captive audiences.  DIVA, aired in the evening, has a huge segment attached to it. We are summing up together different segments rather than just the teenage segment,” Sethi informs.  According to Sethi audiences from the age group of seven to seventy can connect to the property. A customised special show with local connect will be seen on the network soon while to attract kids, animated snippets revolving around WWE will be aired.

A live on-ground event too is being planned for the next year between October and November, which will have WWE superstars performing live in India.

The channel head also plans to have VoD on its digital channel in the year ahead.

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