Sports entertainment company WWE has expanded its longstanding relationship with Australian pay-TV giant Foxtel Group with a new TV and WWE Network rights deal unveiled Tuesday, making Foxtel the exclusive destination for WWE in the country.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has a 65 percent stake in Foxtel, while Australian telecom giant Telstra owns 35 percent. Foxtel has been WWE’s TV partner in the country for more than two decades. However, WWE Network streaming service has been a standalone service in Australia until now, operated by the sports entertainment company. Now WWE Network content will be available exclusively through Foxtel’s streaming service Binge, similar to how NBCUniversal streamer Peacock is home to WWE Network content in the US
The new multi-year partnership in Australia, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed, “will see Foxtel Group’s portfolio of entertainment brands become the home of WWE in Australia,” the companies said. The new agreement will provide “the largest lineup of WWE’s live and on-demand content to Foxtel Group’s 4.5 million subscribers on Foxtel, as well as the burgeoning streaming services Kayo Sports and Binge.”
WWE President and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon touted the deal as an opportunity to “grow the WWE audience across Australia”. She also emphasized: “With its far-reaching and engaged audience, the Foxtel Group has been a trusted and long-standing partner of WWE for over 20 years. We look forward to expanding our partnership with the Foxtel Group and welcoming Binge as WWE Network’s new streaming home base in the region.”
Amanda Laing, Foxtel’s Chief Content and Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to remain WWE’s long-term partner and be part of what will be an exciting new chapter for WWE in Australia. The reach of the Foxtel Group is a game-changer for our partners, such as WWE.”
The executive added: “That’s why sports and entertainment partners in Australia and around the world, including major Hollywood studios and leading sports and now WWE, continue to choose the Foxtel Group to showcase their content and reach their audiences.” increase in Australia. We are extremely excited to be offering all of our Foxtel Group subscribers access to WWE’s premium live events, previously only available on a pay-per-view basis for up to AUS$30 ($20) per event, at no additional cost .”
Under the deal, Foxtel’s streamer Binge will become “WWE Network’s new streaming home base in Australia from January 2023 with all WWE premium live events, including Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 39, and entertainment content available with a Binge subscription, starting at just $ 10 per month,” the partners noted. “WWE will continue to be available to all Foxtel subscribers on both the FOX8 channel and on a new dedicated 24/7 WWE channel to be launched from December 2022.”
Foxtel will broadcast all of WWE’s premium live events, formerly known as pay-per-views, on both channels, plus weekly live episodes of regular TV flagship shows Raw, SmackDown and NXT. “Selected content will continue to be available through Kayo Sports,” Foxtel’s sports streamer said, the partners said.
Alison Hurbert-Burns, Binge’s Executive Director, added: “For generations, WWE has delighted fans around the world and we are delighted that this expanded Binge partnership is making WWE’s new streaming home base in Australia. We can’t wait to bring WWE’s unpredictable drama, larger-than-life personalities past and present, including Roman Reigns, Rey Mysterio, Ronda Rousey, John Cena and The Undertaker, along with all the world-class WWE action to passionate Australians. lovers.”
In the US, Fox, part of Murdoch’s Fox Corp., broadcasts WWE’s SmackDown, with NBCUniversal networks showing other WWE shows and the company’s streamer Peacock being the home of WWE Network. Last week’s SmackDown show attracted 2.54 million viewers, the largest audience since 2020.
WWE also signed a multi-year deal last year with Blockchain Creative Labs, Fox Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment’s non-fungible token (NFT) business and studio, to launch a marketplace for licensed WWE digital tokens and collectables.