ViacomCBS Strikes U.K. Deal for WWE Programming

WWE NXT UK still - H 2020
Courtesy of WWE

The company's Channel 5 will bring two highlights shows from the wrestling powerhouse to free-to-air TV, while Paramount Network will show 'NXT UK' in Britain.

Wrestling powerhouse WWE on Tuesday unveiled a content deal with ViacomCBS in the U.K. covering two weekly highlights shows to air on free-to-air network Channel 5 and a British wrestling show to air on the Paramount Network.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The agreement expands the availability of WWE programming in Britain, one of its big international markets. Earlier this month, WWE moved its programming to BT Sport after years on Sky in the U.K. BT Sport is now exclusively live-airing Raw, SmackDown and NXT, as well as NXT UK and WWE’s monthly pay-per-view events.

Channel 5 will present one-hour highlights shows of its weekly Raw and SmackDown programs starting on Feb. 2. The Raw show will air on Sundays at 10:30 a.m., and the SmackDown highlights show is set for Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. In addition, NXT UK, which fans have so far only been able to watch on the WWE Network streaming service, will air on Paramount Network Wednesdays at midnight.

As part of the agreement, WWE content will also be available on Channel 5’s streaming service My5, along with full seasons of Total Divas and Miz & Mrs, which feature WWE talent.

“Bringing highlights of our flagship programming to free-to-air television for the first time in the U.K. with Channel 5 is a significant step for the WWE brand, and more great news for our passionate fanbase in the U.K.,” said Andy Warkman, vp and general manager of WWE U.K. & Ireland.

“WWE has strong appeal throughout the U.K. and across generations, so we’re very excited to be bringing their high-quality entertainment to an even bigger free-to-air audience in the U.K.,” said James Tatam, vp commercial, digital and operations at Channel 5.