MUMBAI, India & STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited, (SPN) and WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced a five-year extension with an expanded broadcast agreement that will deliver WWE’s weekly flagship programming and localized 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. In addition and 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 and more, on its own platforms.
WWE will also return to India with even bigger live events and Superstars will visit the region for promotional tours to engage with fans.
Rajesh Kaul, Head Sports and Chief Revenue Officer Distribution, Sony Pictures Networks India
“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 an increased exposure to valuable content and reach out to a broader viewer base across India on multiple platforms.”
James Rosenstock, WWE Executive Vice-President, International
“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 #1 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 tryout 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, U.S.
About Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN)
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation, Japan.
SPN has several channels including Sony Entertainment Television (SET and SET HD), one of India’s leading Hindi general entertainment television channels; MAX, India’s premium Hindi movies and special events channel; MAX 2, another Hindi movie channel showcasing great India Cinema; MAX HD, a high definition Hindi movie channel airing premium quality films; WAH, the FTA channel for Hindi movies; SAB and SAB HD the family-oriented Hindi comedy entertainment channels; PAL, a genre leader in rural Hindi speaking markets (HSM) showcasing the best of Hindi general entertainment and Hindi movies from SPN’s content library; PIX and PIX HD, the English movie channels; AXN and AXN HD, the channels showcasing the best in Reality, Entertainment and Drama; Sony BBC Earth and Sony BBC Earth HD, the premium factual entertainment channels, Sony AATH, the Bangla entertainment channel; MIX a refreshing Hindi music channel; YAY!, the kids entertainment channel; sports entertainment channels – SONY SIX, SONY SIX HD, SONY ESPN, SONY ESPN HD, SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 1 HD, SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 2 HD, SONY TEN 3, SONY TEN 3 HD; Sony Marathi, the Marathi general entertainment channel; SonyLIV – the digital entertainment VOD platform; SPN Productions, the networks’ film production arm and Studio NEXT the independent production venture for original content and IPs for TV and digital media. SPN reaches out to over 700 million viewers in India and is available in 167 countries.
The network is recognized as an employer of choice within and outside the media industry. SPN is a recipient of several awards, including the ‘Aon Best Employers India’ Award in recognition of SPN’s unique workplace culture and exceptional people practices, consistently ranking amongst India’s Top 10 Companies with Best Health & Wellness Practices by SHRM & CGP Partners, listed by Working Mother & AVTAR as one of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India and adjudged one of India’s Great Workplaces by the Great Place to Work® Institute. Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited is in its 24th year of operations in India. It has a subsidiary, MSM-Worldwide Factual Media Private Limited and an affiliate, Bangla Entertainment Private Limited in India.
For more information, log onto www.sonypicturesnetworks.com
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG, family-friendly programming can be seen in more than 800 million homes worldwide in 28 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 180 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.
Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to: the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our business, results of operations and financial condition; entering, maintaining and renewing major distribution agreements; a rapidly evolving media landscape; WWE Network (including the risk that we are unable to attract, retain and renew subscribers); our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; the possibility of a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent K. McMahon; possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives; the highly competitive, rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and greater financial resources or marketplace presence of many of our competitors; uncertainties associated with international markets including possible disruptions and reputational risks; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; the complexity of our rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events including without limitation, claims alleging traumatic brain injury; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our feature film business; our expansion into new or complementary businesses and/or strategic investments; our computer systems and online operations; privacy norms and regulations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our indebtedness including our convertible notes; litigation; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance, which could adversely affect our stock; Vincent K. McMahon exercises control over our affairs, and his interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; a substantial number of shares are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and the volatility of our Class A common stock. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends (including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made and are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them. Undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of the Company’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.
Michael Weitz 203-352-8642 | Michael.Weitz@wwecorp.com