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ProSiebenSat.1 renews free-to-air WWE rights in Germany

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has agreed a multi-year deal to renew its free-to-air rights in Germany to the wrestling entertainment series WWE.

Its current three-year deal, which began in April 2017, is due to expire today (March 31).

ProSiebenSat.1 will continue to broadcast WWE’s flagship programmes, Raw and SmackDown on its free-to-air channel ProSieben Maxx at 10pm (CET) on Wednesdays and Saturday, respectively.

Raw and Smackdown will remain available on-demand on the ProSiebenMAXX.de portal for 30 days after the initial broadcast.

ProSiebenSat.1 will be airing archive content from previous WrestleMania events – the WWE’s leading annual pay-per-view event  – ahead of this weekend’s WrestleMania 36. It will also be broadcasting the WWE’s official WrestleMania 36 kickoff show.

In Germany, WrestleMania 36 will be exclusive to the WWE’s own direct-to-consumer OTT service, WWE Network. The event is still set to go ahead, despite the Covid-19 outbreak that has halted most live sport. It will be broadcast across two nights and across multiple venues that will have no live audience.

ProSiebenSat.1 first secured the WWE rights in Germany in 2014 in a wide-ranging agreement. German commercial broadcaster Tele 5 also held rights to show Raw in the country in rolling one-year deals beginning in 2014, following the expiry of Sky’s three-year contract from 2011 to 2013.

Previously in the country, pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland, which held a deal from April 2017 to March 2020, also broadcast WWE PPV events as well as the linear programming. It announced last month that it will not be renewing its WWE rights and signed a deal with instead with All Elite Wrestling.

It is thought that WWE is still looking for a pay-television deal.