UPN Secures Wrestling Rights

By Antony
March 12, 2003 - 5:05 PM

It has been announced that top-rating wrestling programme WWE SmackDown! will be staying with UPN.

Previously WWE paid UPN money to air the programme, and received the advertising income themselves. In the new multi-year deal, however, it follows the more standard format of the network paying for the show and selling their own advertising. "For four years, UPN and the WWE have enjoyed a successful partnership to provide strong alternative programming for young adults on Thursday night," said UPN president of entertainment Dawn Ostroff in a press release at Yahoo! Finance. "We believe that the new structure of our agreement will benefit both parties," said Ostroff.

The agreement means the programme will remain in the Thursday night 8pm - 10pm timeslot for the network. As well as being one of the top programmes for UPN, it is also the most watched English-speaking television show among Hispanics.

"We are pleased to be continuing our very productive relationship with Viacom and UPN," said WWE CEO Linda McMahon. "We are intent on making WWE SmackDown! an even greater Thursday night powerhouse for teens and young adults."

The original press release can be found here.

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