BSKYB and WWE TV in The UK - What needs to Change in 2014
WWE and BskyB (otherwise Known as Sky TV) Have had a UK TV deal Since 1989 and WWE signed a new deal with BskyB in 2009 which runs until 2014. We are now in 2013 so this deal has a year or so left to run. Written below the WWE TV statement is what I would like to see Sky and WWE do when they Sign (or If they sign) a new TV and PPV Deal.
The statement below was released by WWE in 2009 regarding them re-signing with BSkyB for UK Coverage (the full statement can be seen at http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2009/2009_11_30.jsp
Five More Years for WWE and BSkyB
November 30, 2009
"November 30 2009, London – World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) has extended its relationship with British Sky Broadcasting (LSE:BSY.L) in the UK for another five years, taking the partnership into its milestone twenty-fifth year.
The new distribution agreement, which takes effect in January 2010, sees BSkyB hold the exclusive UK broadcast rights of WWE's weekly programming and special events, providing content to more than 15 million homes across the UK and Ireland.
BSkyB will carry ten-and-a-half first run hours of WWE's weekly programs. RAW®, SmackDown®, ECW®, Bottom Line®, AfterBurn®, WWE Vintage Collection™ and This Week in WWE will all air in high definition on Sky Sports, along with five monthly specials annually.
BSkyB will carry eight WWE special events annually on Sky Box Office, including perennial favourites WrestleMania®, Royal Rumble®, SummerSlam® and Survivor Series®. WWE events on Sky Box Office will air live and in HD"
In order to receive Sky TV in the UK you need a TV,Sky set top box and a satellite dish or Sky can be viewed on Sky Player and Internet platform which allows you to watch Sky on your Laptop or Xbox 360 Games Console and also via an App allows you to watch on Ipod, Ipad or other mobile device (but with a limited Service not all programs and Channels can be viewed as on SkyTV and No PPV channels can be viewed either)
When this deal was inked by WWE and BskyB in 2009 there was no provision made for Sky Box Office (Sky's PPV channel) to be made available on Laptops, Mobile Devices, Ipad's etc. With Sky Box office you pay a fee to be able to view the PPV or Program. WWE PPV's in the UK are usually around £15
This is where I think Sky and WWE are missing a beat since 2009 using devices other than your television in your living room have become so popular. If Sky Were to create a Sky Box Office App for the Ipad for Example then you could pay to watch WWE PPV's No matter where you were. In these difficult financial times wouldn't this be great business sense for WWE and Sky? More PPV buys in the UK and more eyes on the WWE Product.
Also there are alot of people out there who try streaming Programs on the Internet. What better way to help defend against this than WWE and SKY having their own online presence and affording people the opportunity to watch online legally and try and tackle if issue of streaming so that these ilegal streams that put up become redundant.
WWE.com does show PPV's for a fee but this service is only available for US Citizens and is unavailable for UK fans.
In The UK WWE actually has less viewers than Competitors Impact Wrestling. This is due to the fact the Impact Wrestling airs on Challenge TV (a Free channel which everyone can receive) also Impact show all their PPV's for free in the UK the Wednesday after they have taken place therefore more people have been watching Impact due to it being more accessible to the viewer and not having to pay for PPV's is certainly a plus. Also Impact Airs at 9pm on a Sunday Night Primetime Viewing at the end of the weekend.
Sky need to help WWE to become more visible in the UK. In the Late 90's when WWE was really at its peak WWE Raw and alot of WWE programming was shown on Sky Sports 1 (It shows all the Big Premier League games and Big Sporting Events and is the premier sports channel on Sky) and was more visible to the casual viewer as well as the wrestling fan. Over the past few years WWE TV (Raw and Smackdown) has been shown on Sky Sports 4 and Raw and Smackdown air live but not until 2am in the morning. Replays of the programs are shown throughout the week but nothing is like seeing wrestling live. However the time difference is something that cannot be changed and that is something that WWE has been doing on Sky for many years.
However In the Next TV Deal why don't WWE have Raw or Smackdown air on Sky TV as usual and structure the TV deal so that the replays (non live repeats) of Raw and Smackdown are sold to a free to air channel? The free to air channel could then air the replay, The free to air TV channel would get ratings and WWE would get TV exposure to all of the UK (Taking on Impact as mentioned above) - Personally I think this would be a great solution for WWE and along with the Sky Box Office app suggested above also Television exposure in WWE could be extended, More money can be made by both Companies and fans get new, varied and Modern ways to see the WWE Product.Everybody Wins!!
Thanks for Reading