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WWE (NYSE: WWE) and Discovery today announced a new multi-year agreement in Italy beginning Wednesday, July 1 that will make WWE’s weekly flagship programming available exclusively live and on-demand with original U.S. commentary on DPlay PLUS, the OTT premium pay service of Discovery, along with versions featuring Italian commentary on DMAX (Channel 52).
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Every week, Dplay PLUS will exclusively air Monday Night Raw® and Friday Night SmackDown® live, captivating fans with a unique combination of edge-of-your-seat action, unpredictable drama and world-class athleticism. NXT® will be available on-demand via Dplay PLUS every Thursday morning.
WWE fans can also enjoy Raw, SmackDown and NXT with Italian commentary by Luca Franchini and Michele Posa on Discovery’s free-to-air channel, DMAX. A two-hour version of Raw will premiere on Mondays starting July 13 at 11:15 pm and re-run at 10:30 am on Saturdays; SmackDown will air at 11:15 pm on Tuesdays and re-run at 10:30 am on Sundays; NXT will air at 12:30 pm on Saturdays and re-run at 9:30 am on Sundays.
WWE programming will launch on Dplay PLUS on Wednesday, July 1 with the latest episode of Raw available on-demand from Wednesday, July 1 and SmackDown available from Saturday, July 4 straight after airing live in the US.
"We are thrilled to embark on a new chapter for WWE in Italy as we bring our unique blend of action-packed, family-friendly sports entertainment to Discovery’s free-to-air and premium channels," said Stefan Kastenmüller, WWE Senior Vice President & Group General Manager. "We are excited that our relationship with Discovery is enhancing the fan experience in Italy with both primetime and family-friendly timeslots."
"We are pleased to announce this agreement with WWE, which is of strategic importance for our group, and will allow us to offer our audience a unique and innovative content proposition: premium content on Dplay PLUS at a very competitive price and WWE highlights on free-to-air on DMAX," said Alessandro Araimo, Managing Director Discovery Italy. "WWE has conquered a very wide audience and we are confident that our channels and platforms can help to further expand the very large Italian fanbase."
Raw, SmackDown and NXT with Italian commentary will also be available on-demand via Dplay. WWE’s two popular weekly recap series, Bottom Line and Afterburn, will be available with original commentary from Dplay PLUS.
The agreement with WWE will make the Dplay PLUS premium content offer even more exclusive with the platform subscription price unchanged at 3.99 euros per month, and at the same time, enriching the free-to-air offer of DMAX, which is already the home of rugby and esports.
WWE’s monthly pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania® and SummerSlam®, will stream exclusively on WWE Network in Italy.
About Discovery Italy
Discovery Italy is the leading broadcaster in real-life entertainment with a multiplatform portfolio of 13 channels and the OTT services Dplay, Eurosport Player and GOLFTV. Our 9 free-to-air channels (NOVE, Real Time, DMAX, Giallo, MOTOR TREND, Food Network, HGTV – Home & Garden TV, K2 and Frisbee) and four pay channels (Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 available on Sky) reach an overall share of 7%. From January 2017 Eurosport is officially the Home of the Olympics in Europe. In Italy, Discovery has consolidated its position thanks to ability to create a unique and integrated ecosystem, with multiplatform brands that represent a destination for a dynamic audience, for talents and for partners looking for a relevant and innovative media stakeholder.
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’s TV-PG, family-friendly programming can be seen in more than 800 million homes worldwide in 28 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/.
About WWE Network
WWE Network is WWE’s award-winning digital streaming service featuring every live WWE pay-per-view, original programming and more than 11,000 hours of video on demand. Available anywhere, anytime on any device, WWE Network can be accessed on TVs, gaming consoles, mobile phones, tablets and computers.
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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: the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our business, results of operations and financial condition; entering, maintaining and renewing major distribution agreements; a rapidly evolving media landscape; WWE Network (including the risk that we are unable to attract, retain and renew subscribers); 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 including possible disruptions and reputational risks; 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 alleging traumatic brain injury; 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; privacy norms and regulations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our indebtedness including our convertible notes; 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 volatility 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.
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