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WWE strikes Middle East & North Africa streaming deal with Saudi-owned MBC

WWE’s lack of a broadcast partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been a talking point on investor calls for years, and even part of some shareholder lawsuits against Vince McMahon’s company.

Today (Mar. 23), WWE announced they’ve struck a deal with a partner in the region. That partner, MBC Group, is majority owned by the Saudi Arabian government. WWE’s been in business with the KSA since 2018, when they began producing semi-annual live events in the country with the Saudi General Sports Authority.

No financial information was released about the arrangement, which will see new and archived WWE programming air on MBC’s Shahid streaming service beginning with next weekend’s WrestleMania 38.

Here’s the press release, which includes details on what’s included and when it will air in the region:


Streaming Service Shahid to Become the New Home of WWE in MENA, including All Premium Live Events and Live Episodes of Raw and SmackDown

STAMFORD, Conn. and DUBAI, UAE, March 23, 2022 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) and MBC GROUP – the largest and leading group in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – today announced a major broadcast partnership that will see MBC’s video on demand (VOD) streaming service, Shahid, become the new home of WWE in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the MENA region.

The partnership includes all WWE premium live events, kicking off with WrestleMania 38 on April 3rd and April 4th, live episodes of Raw® and SmackDown®, as well as WWE Network’s vast library of original programming and archived content.

Additionally, MBC ACTION, a free-to-air television channel by MBC GROUP, will broadcast one-hour highlight versions of Raw® and SmackDown® each week, in addition to WWE magazine shows Afterburn and Main Event.

“MBC GROUP is a market leader in the region and a great partner for WWE,” said WWE President Nick Khan. “By delivering our premium live events including WrestleMania and SummerSlam, our weekly programming including Raw and SmackDown, as well as WWE’s massive library, we believe we will expand our reach throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”

Natasha Hemingway, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Shahid, added: “It’s no secret that WWE is massively popular in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the MENA region. This new partnership is sure to be incredibly exciting for fans, and with more and more live sporting events – including WWE – coming to the Kingdom, we cannot wait to see where this partnership takes us. We’re delighted that Shahid will be the home of WWE!”

Beginning 26 March 2022, Shahid will air SmackDown live on Saturdays at 4am KSA in Arabic, with a one-hour version of SmackDown then airing the same-day with Arabic subtitles on MBC Action at 9PM KSA. Beginning Tuesday, March 29, Shahid will air Raw live on Tuesdays at 4am KSA in Arabic, with a one-hour version of Raw then airing the same-day with Arabic subtitles on MBC Action at 9PM KSA.

The weekly programming will be broadcast 52 weeks a year, captivating fans with a unique combination of edge-of-your-seat action, unpredictable drama and world-class athleticism.

In addition to weekly programming, Shahid will launch a dedicated WWE channel making the entire WWE Network archive – more than 10,000 hours of content – available to stream on-demand. The new WWE destination on Shahid will allow fans to browse and access the entire library including NXT® airing next day following the US broadcast.

Shahid is currently available on the Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K, and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices, including Android, Android TV devices, Chromecast, and Chromecast built-in devices; PCs, Macs, and a wide range of connected Smart TVs including Samsung, LG, Hisense, TCL, Sony & Toshiba.

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