Television

Sony Pictures Networks India extents broadcast partnership with WWE by 5 yrs

For the first time, SPN will curate content from WWE’s extensive video library

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MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) have announced a five-year extension agreement to broadcast weekly wrestling matches, buttressing the fact that wrestling is one of the most-watched non-cricket sports in India.

An official press release said: “With an expanded a broadcast agreement that will deliver WWE’s weekly flagship programming and localised content in India and the Indian subcontinent, making SPN the exclusive home to WWE in-ring content across its television and digital platforms.”

As part of the agreement, SPN will have the rights to air Raw, SmackDown, NXT as well as WWE pay-per-view specials live on its sports and digital platforms in English, Hindi and regional languages.

The expanded partnership also provides SPN the rights to WWE Network which hosts thousands of hours of content to be made available to audiences in India exclusively through SonyLIV, SPN’s OTT platform.

For the first time, SPN will curate content from WWE’s extensive video library which includes live events, iconic matches, interviews with legends, reality shows, documentaries, on its own platforms.

Sony Pictures Networks India head sports and chief revenue officer distribution Rajesh Kaul says, “WWE has been consistently ranking in the top three properties across all sports networks in India, dominating the sports entertainment space. We are delighted to extend our partnership with WWE in a first of its kind deal that will give us increased exposure to valuable content and reach out to a broader viewer base across India on multiple platforms.”

WWE executive vice-president James Rosenstock says, “India is a strategically important market for WWE and Sony Pictures Networks has been an extraordinary partner in helping to grow our fanbase in the region, making it one of the most-watched sports properties. The expanded partnership gives our passionate fans new opportunities to engage with the WWE brand.”

The agreement comes at a time when WWE’s popularity in India continues to grow. WWE is one of the most-watched sports properties in India, and India ranks number one for WWE YouTube consumption and #1 in WWE Facebook followers.

In addition, WWE has been actively recruiting elite athletes and performers from the country. Last year, WWE hosted its largest try out in history, where more than 70 top athletes from India showcased their abilities in Mumbai. Four Indian recruits were selected to begin training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, US.

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