Television

Ten Sports’ live foray with WWE a success with packed seats & tight fights

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MUMBAI: Chants of C M Punk and Undertaker resonated loud and clear at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium. The reason: WWE Live.

It was after 13 years that WWE returned to India. Ten Sports’ foray into live event became a historic one. The sportscaster's month long brainstorming could not have had a better start. The channel roped in Mountain Dew and Harley Davidson as sponsors, who got adequate eyeballs. What’s more, it also proved to be a new and lucrative revenue stream for Ten Sports, which will definitely be tapped into in the coming years.

The excitement was palpable at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium as millennial wrestling fans, who had been waiting in long queues to grab seats for a hefty amount, lost their voice way before the first bout was belled.

And then there was a big explosion of fire, the masked man’s giant imagery was on the display screen. Kane was heading towards the ring. With their hoarse cries and cheers, the audience made sure that Kane remembers this entry forever. What’s more, it was certainly a one-of-a-kind moment for both Kane and the audience.

After Kane, came the other ‘big’ entry - The Big Show. He looked no different from Polyphemus, it was just that he had a cleaner head, but not many from the bottom row could see that as he is 2.13 meter tall.

The referee in black and white stripes shouted ‘Fight’ and that’s all it took for the freezing Delhi to start sweating like a hot summer noon. The battle became brutal, sometimes it was Kane ruling the roulette, while sometimes the dice favoured The Big Show. After tussling it out, Kane choke-slammed the 200 kilogram monster and it turned out to be too hard a fall for The Big Show to rise again. Kane pinned Show, the referee screamed ‘One, Two, Three’ and Kane was hailed as the winner. The stadium started chanting the Kane anthem as the first bout came to an end. The two-day extravaganza was up and rolling.

The other bouts had WWE Divas, Indian wrestlers, and other prominent wrestle-maniacs. The moments in the swanky Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium will certainly live a long life in spectators mind as memories.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Ten Sports CEO Rajesh Sethi says, “Ten Sports is proud to have brought back a WWE live event to India. The Ten Sports team's effort to put together this mega show is reaping benefits - all fans went home with great memories. Such events are part of Ten Sports Networks’ conscious effort to bring sport closer to fans and increase engagement opportunities.”

Though Ten Sports had two sponsors on board, the major revenue was generated from ticketing. Speaking about the ticketing Sethi asserts, “The event generated great traction and the ticket sales for this event will be a benchmark for every sport. We have exceeded all our expectations and if this result is something to go by, then we see enormous potential to bring more such events across sports thereby creating a new revenue stream for the network.”

According to information available with Indiantelevision.com, the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 20,000, was packed to the brim as all tickets were sold out. While the final calculations have not yet been done, WWE Live was, no doubt, a profitable outing for Ten Sports. With the success of this live event, Ten Sports is now also looking at bringing in several other live events.

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