WWE Soars on Huge BSkyB Deal

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shares were soaring 7.8% to $23.11 as the company re-upped its deal with British cable-TV provider BSkyB for significantly more money than its previous deal.

Reported first in The Hollywood Reporter, WWE and BSkyB, which is 39% owned by 21st Century Fox (FOXA), extended their current deal by an additional five years through 2019, bringing WWE's popular television shows, Raw, SmackDown and MainEvent to more than 15.5 million homes in the U.K. and Ireland. The two companies have a long standing partnership, with WWE programming appearing on BSkyB for 25 years, now extended to 30.

"WWE is brilliant entertainment, and I am delighted to once again extend our relationship with them," said Barney Francis, Managing Director, Sky Sports in a press release. "WWE is hugely popular with our viewers, and now, they can continue to watch all the big events and weekly programmes with us."

Gerrit Meier, who handles international programming for WWE, said in a statement that  
"We're proud of our 30-year partnership with BSkyB, the leader in delivering the best in sports and entertainment. This partnership is a testament to the passion our fans have for WWE content and the long-term growth potential for our brand worldwide."

WWE recently announced its own network at CES in Las Vegas earlier this month. The network, which is an over-the-top subscription model similar to Netflix (NFLX), is launching Feb. 24 for $9.99 per month and will include all 12 pay-per-views, starting with WrestleMania 30, to be held in New Orleans.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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