Said Andrew Whitaker, senior vice president, international television, WWFE: “These deals are a significant milestone in the extension of our global distribution. We have been working diligently to increase our distribution across the Indian sub-continent and have now accomplished that through our new deal in the region. We see it as a landmark in building the profile of the World Wrestling Federation brand in west Asia.”
The agreement with Taj TV for 1,550 hours of WWF programing to be broadcast across the entire Indian sub-continent is the company’s biggest deal in west Asia and represents a sea change in global distribution. It delivers WWFE’s entire portfolio of programming across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives.
Meanwhile in Taiwan, WWFE has announced a two-year deal with pay-TV station, Z-Channel. It has acquired 152 hours of WWF SmackDown! and Specials.
In Singapore, terrestrial broadcaster TCS will deliver 316 hours of Superstars, Livewire and 12 Specials over the next three years.
And a landmark deal with national broadcaster, TV Record in Brazil, brings WWF programming to the south/central American and Carribean market for the first time. WWF Raw started airing in the territory in August.
WWFE has also expanded its coverage into Africa, with terrestrial station eTV purchasing the rights to broadcast WWF Raw through 2002. The deal will build on the success of WWF programming on pan-regional satellite television station, MNET, which has also agreed to extend the broadcast of Superstars for another year.
“We now have a good mix of terrestrial, cable and satellite penetration on five continents,” said Roger Marment, executive vice president, international business development for WWFE. “This breadth of coverage is key to driving demand for our licensed products, local language publications, music, home videos and, ultimately, international events.”