WWE and BT Sport announce a multi-year agreement

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/06/20/wwe-and-bt-sport-announce-a-multi-year-agreement/

The WWE and BT Sport formally announced their multi-year agreement that sees WWE programming leave Sky Sports at the end of 2019. The news of the pending move was first reported by The Telegraph in May.

BT Sport, which has also the rights to the UFC, will begin airing Raw and SmackDown live on a weekly basis in the U.K. and Ireland beginning in January 2020 with prime time replays the following day. Additionally, the WWE’s monthly pay-per-views will be available on BT Sport Box Office and feature edited down replays of Raw and SmackDown on the weekends across their various channels.

The deal ends a 30-year relationship between WWE and Sky Sports that dates to 1989. BT Sport is in significantly fewer homes than SKY, with the Wrestling Observer Newsletter citing figures of 8.56 million homes for SKY’s reach compared to 2.19 for BT Sport.

Terms of the deal between WWE and BT Sport were not disclosed. The two big television renewals the WWE had on its plate this year were for the U.K. and Ireland, and India.

Whilst I know I’ll be OK as I have BT Sport, I know there is a lot of anger about needing a different subscription. It’s fine if all you’re wanting to watch is WWE as BT is cheaper than Sky Sports but I understand its a lot if you want to have both

BT Sport is in fewer homes but that doesn’t necessarily mean a big drop off in viewers. Think I read Sky Sports were getting less than 50k live viewers for Raw & SmackDown and they had significantly decreased their promotion of WWE programming. If BT Sport actually care a bit then they should do better than that. WWE would also need to care and put on a decent product though…

It’s too bad cause sky is more expensive but it has the best offer tv wise. Would people leave Sky for BT just for wrestling ? I don’t think so. It’s the same for soccer/football in France where the champion’s league is broadcast by a TV company that nobody has subscribed to. They thought they would attract new viewers thanks to this football deal but they did not. Food for thought.

I’d really love to know what both Sky and BT offered.

I think BT went for it because they want regular programming for their PPV channel.

Right now Sky are in the right because of how the product is but if it becomes hot again like in the summer of 97 all the way through 98, then who knows

Maybe I’m a minority - but this will make me move.

BT got the UFC and I was gutted. Essentially stopped me watching UFC because I didnt want to pay for it.
BT got all the Champions League. It was fine because Man United have been shite so I didnt really want to watch it. But was gutted I couldn’t.
BT getting WWE as well - its now a case of weighing up… do I want the majority of the Premier League Football or do I want - UFC, WWE, Champions League and 1 or 2 Premier League games a week.

Time to move to BT Sport I think

BT Sport are putting some UFC events on Box Office, causing a lot of controversy at the moment.

I think it all depends on whether WWE’s product improves or not. This Fox deal should help things

"BT Sport will air both Raw and SmackDown exclusively live every week, delivering edge-of-your-seat action and showcasing the world-class athleticism from global superstars.

BT Sport will also carry same day primetime re-airs of Raw on Tuesdays and SmackDown on Saturdays, a two-hour version of Raw, one-hour version of Raw and one-hour version of SmackDown across its portfolio of channels."

Looks like they’re giving WWE a lot of time. 9 hours of Raw and 5 hours of Smackdown a week across their channels. We’ll see how long they keep that up.

It doesn’t impact me as I have both Sky and BT (I’m a Virgin Media subscriber, they’ve offered both for years), and I watch very little main roster WWE these days, but this will majorly impact viewers who just have Sky Sports and subscribe for more than just WWE. BT have major properties like the Champions League and the UFC, but they have a small amount of Premier League games, and there’s not much on when it’s the football off-season like it is currently. WWE will help in that regard.

Do we know who ended the long term business relationship between sky and wwe yet? did wwe get a great offer from bt sport or did sky sports no longer wish to pay wwe the money they were asking?

Are any of you in the uk going to subscribe to bt sport just for wwe programming?

Meltzer said Sky dropped them, ratings have gone down over the last couple of years and they still weren’t happened with the WWE Network deal.

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Honestly - I haven’t put WWE on for months. I listen to John and Wai - and if theres something particularly important it pops up on my Instagram feed.

When they announced it I was sat debating whether I cancel Sky Sports and move to BT. But as it draws closer - I dont see enough football benefits to BT Sport since Man United arent in the champions league.

So I think I’ll be dropping WWE.

I just wish AEW and ITV would sort their shit out. The current setup is a nightmare.

Why don’t you just get IPTV ? Then you can watch all the US channels and WWE network on there