What Does The WWE’s Move To BT Sport Mean For The UK Audience?
The WWE has always been hot property in the United Kingdom, and that has been noticed by one of the leading sports broadcasters in the country. For 30 years, Sky Sports had been the home of WWE weekly television. They would show every Monday Night Raw and SmackDown live, while they also had the rights to exclusively show the monthly pay per views.
The deal that Sky Sports signed started back in 1989, and it had also seen the channel play host to shows such as WWE Velocity, ECW and WWE Heat. Furthermore, UK audiences also used to get occasional PPVs on the channel. However, that ended when the WWE Network was brought in.
Most Significant Change To WWE Programming In The UK
When the announcement was made that the WWE would be leaving Sky Sports and joining BT Sport, there was a layer of sadness. Sky Sports had been a brilliant home for the wrestling and even included some of the bigger stories on their news channel throughout the day. They pushed the WWE to the UK audience in a way that hadn’t been done before.
Whether BT can continue that momentum remains to be seen. They have started strongly however and have enlisted the help of various superstars to help with that. The channel has been broadcasting humorous skits throughout the last number of weeks before the change kicks in on the 1st January.
The two most prominent that have been seen in between fixtures in the Champions League has seen Kevin Owens and Rusev poking fun at the soccer pundits. Owens told ex-Blackburn Rovers and Celtic star Chris Sutton to shut up or he would stunner him.
“Come near me and I’ll stun you out your shoes. No more Chris Sutton.”
— BT Sport WWE (@btsportwwe) December 12, 2019
BT Sport’s WWE Schedule
They have certainly gone above and beyond for the WWE judging by what they are promising fans. The weekly live shows of Raw and Smackdown will remain, but there will be a boosted number of replays on their two main channels due to the lack of comprehensive catch up service that they boast compared to Sky.
They are already aware that the middle of the night start times may not be suitable for everyone, so they will replay Raw at primetime on Tuesday, and Smackdown at primetime on Saturday.
As well as this, they will also broadcast a two-hour version of Raw, and a one-hour broadcast of Smackdown and Raw. The initial signs are promising, but whether they can match the dedication that Sky Sports had remains to be seen.