NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Confirming Multi-Year Deal with WWE® for MONDAY NIGHT RAW® on USA Network and SMACKDOWN® on Syfy
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced a multi-year strategic partnership for WWE's flagship programming and ratings juggernauts MONDAY NIGHT RAW® for a three-hour block on USA Network and the top-rated FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN® on Syfy. The two programs are the longest-running weekly episodic entertainment programs on cable TV with a combined reach of 10.8M viewers each week. The announcement was made today by Paul “Triple H®” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President Talent, Live Events & Creative, from the stage at the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment upfront presentation at the Javitz Center in New York.
“USA Network President Chris McCumber, Syfy President Dave Howe and I are incredibly pleased to renew this strategic partnership with WWE,” said NBCUniversal Cable Chairman Bonnie Hammer. “In today's TV landscape, live event programming is an extraordinarily valuable asset, and WWE remains the only entertainment franchise that consistently delivers this on a 52-week a year basis. We look forward to bringing WWE's action-packed and unique brand of drama to the wide audiences across our cable networks for many years to come.”
“We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with NBCUniversal given their premiere position in the marketplace and vast promotional platforms,” said WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon. “We are excited about our future as we further the reach and popularity of our live, family-friendly entertainment programming 52 weeks a year.”
WWE weekly programming averages more viewers than the NBA, NASCAR, MLB, NHL and UFC. Both MONDAY NIGHT RAW and FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN feature a star-studded cast of WWE Superstars and Divas, and deliver a shot of adrenaline to viewers with over-the-top action, feats of athleticism and high octane drama.
MONDAY NIGHT RAW on USA is the most-watched, regularly scheduled, year-round program on cable, airing a live three-hour block every Monday night, 52 weeks a year. RAW has been a cable mainstay for more than 20 years and is consistently a top ten show on television. The three-hour block on USA averages 2.2M P18-49, 2.3M P25-54 and 5M total viewers P2+. The 2-hour FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN on Syfy averages 1.2M P18-49, 1.3M P25-54 and 3.2M total viewers P2+. The two programs have reached 37.5M people 2014 to-date.
In addition, E! -- in partnership with WWE and Bunim-Murray Productions -- will continue to broadcast the reality series TOTAL DIVAS, an unprecedented look inside the professional and personal lives of the WWE's leading ladies.
About USA Network
The #1 network in all of basic cable for an unprecedented eight straight years, USA Network is seen in more than 102 million U.S. homes. USA offers a powerful stable of dramatic, comedic and unscripted originals. The network also features spectacular live television, a dynamic portfolio of acquired series and the best in blockbuster theatrical films and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com (http://www.Syfy.com)), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in 96 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 150 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Munich and Tokyo.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to entering into, maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television and pay-per-view programming and our new network distribution agreements; risks relating to the launch and maintenance of our new network; the need for continually developing creative and entertaining programming; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent McMahon; the conditions of the markets in which we compete and acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to regulatory matters; risks resulting from the highly competitive and fragmented nature of our markets; uncertainties associated with international markets; the importance of protecting our intellectual property and complying with the intellectual property rights of others; the risk of accidents or injuries during our physically demanding events; risks associated with producing and travelling to and from our large live events, both domestically and internationally; risks relating to our film business; risks relating to new businesses and strategic investments; risks relating to our computer systems and online operations; risks relating to general economic conditions and our exposure to bad debt risk; risks relating to litigation; risks relating to market expectations for our financial performance; risks relating to our revolving credit facility specifically and capital markets more generally; risks relating to the large number of shares of common stock controlled by members of the McMahon family and the possibility of the sale of their stock by the McMahons or the perception of the possibility of such sales; the relatively small public float of our stock; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant.
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