WWE will increase its presence in China this week as the company agreed a media rights deal with IQIYI Sports. The streaming platform will broadcast Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and pay-per-views in English and Mandarin from September 22.
WWE already has a media-rights deal in China with PPTV. That deal was renegotiated recently according to SportBusiness, however, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
IQIYI issued the following press release:
"BEIJING, Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- iQIYI Sports (the "Platform"), a joint venture between iQIYI, Inc. (NASDAQ:IQ) ("iQIYI" or the "Company"), an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, and Super Sports Media, today announced it has reached a partnership with WWE® (NYSE: WWE) in which WWE's weekly flagship programming will be released live and in mandarin to audiences in China's Mainland starting September 22. Under the partnership, iQIYI Sports will offer on its platform content from the popular WWE brands Raw® and SmackDown®, as well as a WWE subscription video-on-demand service featuring all of WWE's monthly pay-per-view events, including classic matches such as Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and the Survivor Serie.
WWE content on iQIYI Sports will be made available to viewers in HD while dual Chinese and English commentaries will also be available for viewers to choose from. iQIYI Sports' WWE content will be accessible to users who have the regular iQIYI Sports membership or the iQIYI Sports boxing membership.
WWE is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company boasts an extensive business portfolio that creates and delivers original content all year round to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is available in more than 800 million households worldwide and broadcasts to more than 180 countries and in 28 languages. The company has helped launch the careers of pop-culture icons including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, John Cena, Triple H, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Bella Twins.
"We are thrilled to begin an exciting new chapter for WWE in the region as we bring our unique blend of action-packed, family-friendly sports entertainment to iQIYI Sport's impressive portfolio of premium sports content," said Jay Li, WWE Vice President & General Manager, Greater China.
"I have full confidence in this partnership," said Lingxiao Yu, CEO of iQIYI Sports. "WWE is loved by many fans around the world and has a huge fan base in China. We are pleased to become partners with WWE. We will leverage the resources of our platform to ensure that top quality WWE content is delivered to Chinese audiences as an unbeatable entertainment experience."
Going forward, iQIYI Sports will incorporate innovative technologies into the livestreams of WWE content. In addition to introducing user interaction features such as Bullet Subtitles, widely known as Danmu, during WWE livestreams, iQIYI Sports will also be collaborating with WWE to develop interactive content.
For more information, please visit iQIYI Sports' WWE Channel at: