Upfronts 2014: NBCUniversal Entertainment and WWE Wrestle Multi-Year Deal

Agreement keeps ‘Raw’ on USA and ‘Smackdown’ on Syfy
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NBCUniversal Entertainment and WWE have inked a multi-year deal to keep Monday Night Raw on USA Network and Friday Night Smackdown on Syfy.

The announcement came during NBCU’s cable upfronts Thursday 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.”

Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO, echoed Hammer’s statement: “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with NBCUniversal given their premiere position in the marketplace and vast promotional platforms. We are excited about our future as we further the reach and popularity of our live, family-friendly entertainment programming 52 weeks a year.”

NBCU's contract with WWE was set to expire in October but the cabler's negotiating window ended in February, sparking speculation that the WWE was shopping its franchises to other distributors.

Combined, the two shows garner 10.8 million viewers each week.

WWE also recently launched OTT WWE Network, which by April had drawn more than 660 thousand subscirbers.

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