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WWE recently issued a press release about how they've reached a deal with the SuperSport channel in Africa to air Raw and SmackDown Live. Unfortunately though, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that this may not be such a good thing. Apparently SuperSport is a pay channel, which could have an affect on South Africa, which is currently WWE's third-largest market behind the United States and India.
Although this new deal will give WWE more possible exposure throughout Africa and make them accessible to millions of new viewers, moving to a pay channel reportedly could cost them quite a few viewers in the country of South Africa. With a population of approximately 44 million people, Raw and SmackDown Live usually draw about 2 million South African viewers on a weekly basis.
One of the good things about it though is that now the shows will air live for the African viewers. Raw and SmackDown had both previously been edited down to one hour for the African viewers.
This is the press release that WWE issued on their website a few weeks ago:
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA and STAMFORD, Conn., July 20, 2017 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) and SuperSport, Africa’s premier sports broadcaster, today announced a new, multi-year agreement to broadcast WWE programming live for the first time in more than 50 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Starting Monday, August 28, SuperSport will air WWE’s flagship shows Raw® and SmackDown® as well as WWE specials, including WrestleMania® and SummerSlam®.
“WWE is a global phenomenon, so securing the broadcast rights for SuperSport is a terrific coup,” said Gideon Khobane, chief executive of SuperSport. “The athletes involved are larger than life figures who command huge followings. At long last our viewers will get to share in this entertainment spectacle in high definition. I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with WWE.”
“SuperSport is a best-in-class partner who shares our vision and passion for engaging with and entertaining our fans,” said Ed Wells, WWE Executive Vice President, International. “Televising WWE programming live in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time is an important milestone for us, and we look forward to working with SuperSport to cultivate new fans in the region.”
SuperSport channels S3, S4, S9 and SS10 will televise Raw on Tuesdays and SmackDown on Wednesdays, offering both live telecasts and same-day re-airs, and will broadcast all WWE specials live, including WrestleMania®, SummerSlam®, Survivor Series® and Royal Rumble®. All programs will be available with English commentary and on demand.
WWE programming will also be made available across some of DStv’s general entertainment channels.
To celebrate the new partnership, SuperSport will televise the prior week’s episodes of Raw and SmackDown on Monday, August 28.
SuperSport is Africa’s premier sports broadcaster, producing and broadcasting local and international sport for GOtv and DStv pay TV customers across sub-Saharan Africa.
SuperSport provides a mix of 35 channels, offering a wide selection of the best local and international sport action across a multitude of disciplines. Now available on DStv and GOtv as well as on SuperSport.com and DStv Now in 50 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
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 reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 20 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 180 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.
Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/
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: WWE Network; major distribution agreements; our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; the possibility of a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent K. McMahon; possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives; the highly competitive, rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and greater financial resources or marketplace presence of many of our competitors; uncertainties associated with international markets; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; the complexity of our rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events including, without limitation, claims relating to CTE; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our feature film business; our expansion into new or complementary businesses and/or strategic investments; our computer systems and online operations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our revolving credit facility; litigation; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance, which could adversely affect our stock; Vincent K. McMahon exercises control over our affairs, and his interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; a substantial number of shares are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and the relatively small public “float” of our Class A common stock. 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 (including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made and are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them. Undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of the Company’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.