As part of the their second quarter financial reports, released earlier this morning, WWE announced plans to expand their WWE Network into Canada via a partnership with Rogers Communication. We now have a few more details of that deal based on a joint press release issued by both companies.
The deal covers more than just the Network, and links the two companies for ten years. Rogers will control WWE's television content distribution north of the border, including Raw, Smackdown, Main Event and pay-per-view (PPV).
WWE Network will be a 'linear channel' on their service, with plans to offer the library of past events and other programming via an ancillary Video on Demand (VOD) offering similar to HBO Go.
Here's the word from the partners:
TORONTO, July 31, 2014 - Rogers Communications and WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced a historic 10-year broadcast and multimedia agreement, making Rogers the exclusive distributor of WWE's flagship programming in Canada through 2024. The deal extends WWE's current programming on Sportsnet 360 and includes the right to distribute WWE Network as a premium linear channel, with a preview beginning August 12.
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.
Fans in Canada will receive more WWE programming than ever before through Rogers' cable and digital assets. Highlights from the new deal also include national rights for Raw®, SmackDown® and Main Event® on Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet NOW and Rogers Anyplace TV.
"This landmark deal is a win-win for WWE fans in Canada," said Scott Moore, President of NHL & Sportsnet, Rogers. "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."
"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. "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.