We just reported a few weeks ago that WWE made a new deal in the UK to air programming on BT Sport, replacing their previous deal with Sky Sports. Today news broke of another, bigger deal for UK television, which appears to be in addition to that one.
As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, the new deal is with ViacomCBS, who own multiple channels including Channel 5, which will air one-hour Raw and Smackdown highlight shows, the first time WWE content has been seen on free-to-air TV in the UK. Channel 5 will air the Smackdown highlight show on Saturday morning and the Raw highlight show on Sunday morning. ViacomCBS’s Paramount Network will also begin airing NXT UK on Wednesday nights.
The deal also includes WWE content becoming available on Channel 5’s streaming service, known as My5, including not just wrestling but also reality programming like Total Divas and Miz & Mrs.
Andy Warkman, VP and General Manager of WWE in the UK and Ireland called the deal “a significant step for the WWE brand, and more great news for our passionate fanbase in the U.K.”
James Tatam, VP of Commercial, Digital and Operations at Channel 5 also expressed his excitement, adding, “WWE has strong appeal throughout the UK 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 UK.”