WWE, Ten Sports Extend India TV Deal
The five-year deal also calls for localized content and live events
Sports entertainment powerhouse WWE has renewed its television deal in India with Ten Sports for five more years through 2019. The partners said they plan to extend WWE's presence in the country beyond the company's weekly flagship programming to include localized content, more languages, as well as live events in India.
While financial terms were not given, according to sources familiar with the agreement, the deal is valued at two-and-a-half times more than the previous pact.
Ten Sports has had the Indian TV rights for WWE programming since 2002. In addition to the continued broadcasts of WWE’s flagship programs Raw, SmackDown, NXT and monthly pay-per-view events, Ten Sports will introduce a new one-hour customized version of Raw tailored specifically for India starting in January.
The network will also add weekly show WWE Main Event to its programming lineup. In addition, Ten Sports will air WWE content in multiple Indian languages for the first time and host WWE live events in the country.
“India remains a strategically important market for WWE, and we are thrilled to continue our long-term partnership with Ten Sports, the region’s leader in sports programming,” said WWE executive vp international Gerrit Meier.
“WWE is the leader in sports entertainment, and its high-quality entertainment is a huge hit among Indian audiences,” added Ten Sports CEO Rajesh Sethi. “Being rights holders since 2002, we have seen WWE grow over the years to dominate the sports entertainment space, and with this new deal through 2019, we are confident of taking our partnership to the next level."
India is WWE's third-biggest TV market behind the U.S. and U.K. Following WWE's new U.S. TV deal with NBCUniversal, the franchise struck a 10-year exclusive TV and digital distribution deal for Canada with Rogers Communications. Recently, WWE extended its deal through 2019 with U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB, reaching over 15.5 million homes in the U.K. and Ireland.