WWE gets another TV upgrade in Germany
Thursday, 13 March 2014 10:11
Next huge bombshell for WWE rights in Germany: Sky loses WWE to ProSieben/Sat1 Group with a new concept and more WWE on german free-tv - WrestleMania will be the final WWE broadcast on Sky Wrestling
What a week for the german WWE tv market! First, WWE announced a new tv partnership with TELE 5 for a 2 hour version of Raw beginning on April 10 (as reported) and while we mentioned the questionable future of WWE on Sky (including WrestleMania) another bombshell was hit today, as it's announced and confirmed that the main WWE package will find a new home on the ProSieben/Sat1 Group.
First and foremost: WrestleMania XXX will air on Sky Select as the final WWE broadcast on Sky after a 12 year partnership (which brought german WWE fans all 12 ppv's live for the first time, Raw live and SmackDown even earlier than in the UK). Also WWE's new home - ProSieben/Sat1 - will broadcast WrestleMania XXX live on Maxdome, an online Video-On-Demand library such like Netflix. It's yet unknown how high the price for WrestleMania an Maxdome will be? They just announced that WrestleMania will be available 3 weeks after it's live airing as VOD.
After Raw it's now also known that SmackDown will return to german free-tv beginning on Saturday, April 5 (the night before WrestleMania) at 11pm on ProSieben Maxx (a new male young oriented free-tv channel). Raw, SmackDown and NXT will also air on their pay-tv channel ProSieben FUN - which is also available on Sky and already airs WWE Superstars on Friday. Highlights will also air on MyVideo.de (compared to YouTube) on a WWE channel.
WWE executives saw this as a huge chance to reach the german market (which includes Austria & Switzerland, too) in a new way - especially getting huge deals for Raw and SmackDown on german free-tv and as Video-On-Demand. Sky couldn't compete to that offer and WWE's new view to make business on Germany. They already confirmed this officially.
WrestleMania XXX marks a new chapter for WWE on the german market, one that without a doubt brings new opportunities and opens a lot of new doors, while it's also questionable if the german (pay tv) audience will lose quality on content - such as audio (german/english), HD, Raw live etc. which hasn't been answered yet.