WWE and Rogers solidify relationship until 2024 -- and bring Network to Canada
GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
On a day that it was releasing its second quarter results for 2014, World Wrestling Entertainment also announced a 10-year deal with Rogers Communications in Canada that would keep WWE programming on Rogers property Sportsnet 360 (formerly The Score) and distribute WWE Network in Canada -- eventually.
According to the press release, "Rogers will be the exclusive distribution partner of all WWE pay-per-view events throughout Canada and will sponsor an application to the CRTC to bring the popular WWE Network to Canada. Starting August 12, a preview of WWE Network content, including live WWE pay-per-view events, groundbreaking original series, live in-ring action, reality shows and a video-on-demand library, will be available on a subscription basis on Rogers Channel 512. Rogers will offer this WWE Network content preview subscription to all cable, satellite and IPTV providers across Canada."
The WWE Network is currently only available in the United States, though, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, there are workarounds to run it at the moment in Canada.
In its financial statement today, WWE revealed that subscription numbers for WWE Network in the U.S. are about 700,000. It also revealed that the Network will be rolling out worldwide in August.
"This landmark deal is a win-win for WWE fans in Canada," said Scott Moore, President of NHL & Sportsnet, Rogers, in the press release. "The premium WWE content offers our customers more of the programming they want, on any platform of their choosing. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with WWE, and deliver exclusive content to its passionate fan base in Canada for the next decade."
The Score, which was bought by Rogers Communications in 2012, was the home of WWE programming for years; in fact, WWE was at one point an investor in the television station.
"We are excited to expand our partnership with Rogers as we look for innovative ways to grow our brand and further the reach of our programming in Canada through their vast distribution channels and marketing platforms," said Gerrit Meier, WWE Executive Vice President, International, in the WWE press release. "The structure of this new agreement demonstrates WWE’s commitment to growing our brand internationally through integrated partnerships as well as the flexibility we have in rolling out WWE Network around the world."