The WWE Finds Its New Home on BT TV Starting January 2020

WWE Universe BT TV

British wrestling fans will need to make the switch to a new provider from January 2020 onwards, with BT Sport swooping in to grab the television rights like an RKO out of nowhere.

BT Sport has also promised UK wrestling fans to deliver a more extensive social media program, including specialised packages and promotions designed specifically for the WWE Universe.

The WWE flagship wrestling programs like Raw and Smackdown will now screen on BT TV, broadening the network’s stable of exclusive live sport. WWE Pay Per View programs will also be screened by BT Sport as well as live on the WWE Network – WWE’s own on-demand video service for all wrestling content including old programs such as WCW, ECW and so much more.

In addition to securing exclusive rights to the Champions League and Europa League, BT has become one of the leading broadcasters of the Premier League – alongside Sky and newcomer Amazon. It could be said that BT Sport is now holding all the gold.

With BT TV holding a much smaller subscriber base than Sky TV, the network is clearly looking to boost its numbers by taking over the rights to the WWE.

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What’s new with WWE on BT TV?

Both Raw and Smackdown will be broadcast live on BT TV with the inclusion of a one and two-hour version of Raw available for on-demand viewing. Smackdown, on the other hand, will have its own one-hour format for on-demand viewing.

In addition to premiere airings of Raw and Smackdown, BT Sport will repeat Raw on Tuesdays in primetime – with Smackdown reruns on Saturdays.

An end of an era for the WWE?

WWE wrestling had been a staple of Sky Sports for the best part of four decades, with the network beginning their coverage in the 1980s.

Sky Sports’ 1990s wrestling coverage was the first experience many British fans had with the sports entertainment juggernaut. Friday night’s Raw became a central feature – even though it screened a good four days after its US premiere on Monday.

Due to social media and the need to avoid spoilers, Raw is now screened simultaneously with the US – which is probably why BT Sport is keen on ensuring fans don’t miss a thing by screening primetime repeats.

BT Sport has recognised the central role Sky Sports have taken in building wrestling in the UK – and are committed to making sure that the sport is in good hands – a ‘passing of the torch’.

How can I get my wrestling fix with BT TV?

All BT TV packages come with BT Sport – with the other details depending on the set-top box and other programming. 

BT deliver their TV through broadband lines, meaning you’ll need to take BT Broadband as well if you sign up with BT TV. While you might be happy with your current broadband provider, BT do offer super-fast speeds and great deals. BT will also offer the option to stream the WWE free to eligible devices using their mobile app, ensuring you won’t have to miss a minute no matter your schedule.

The TV Box comes with the Starter package which includes a Recordable TV Box that lets you watch the Essential, Classic or Entertainment packages, while the Max 4K package is only available with the 4K Recordable TV Box.

Each of these boxes let you catch up on television as well as pause and rewind live TV. The Recordable Boxes come with up to 300 hours of recording capacity,  while only the 4K Recordable Box is HD compatible.

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Where else can I watch the WWE?

If you don’t want to switch everything to BT TV but need access to your spandex and your Smackdown, BT Sport is also available from other providers. Sky Sport, Virgin and TalkTalk all offer BT Sport packages to go with their regular programming.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to the WWE’s streaming service WWE Network to watch the entire library of WWE content from its early beginnings. Each episode of Raw and Smackdown is uploaded in its entirety a few weeks after the broadcast, in addition to every episode ever produced by the WWE.

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