As announced by the e family of channels, WWE will not be aired on e.tv from 1 September 2017.
The channel announced in a media statement that it will not be renewing its long-standing contract with WWE.
According to Managing Director of e.tv Channels Marlon Davids, the decision not to renew the WWE contract was not an easy one as the show has been on the channel for a long period of time.
“e.tv has been the home of WWE in South Africa since 2001, but international rights contracts like this are complex,” he says.
“After reviewing our renewal options, we decided to focus instead on the direction our entertainment lineup has been taking over the last 12 months.”
Davids acknowledged the contribution of both local and international shows to the growing viewership of the e family of channels. But though WWE has a lot to contribute to this improvement, e.tv channels just have to let it go, hoping that viewers will continue to enjoy the variety of content they have to offer.
“We’re thrilled with the way our viewership numbers have grown, thanks to the local and international drama, comedy and reality shows which have found a home on the e family of channels.
“As sad as we are to see WWE leave its home in South Africa, we’re confident that our audience will keep embracing the channels’ new direction and continue to be entertained by the fresh and engaging content which e.tv and the e family of channels currently hosts – and has plans to expand in the future,” says Davids.
Starting from the aforementioned deadline, WWE programs will be replaced by back to back family movies on Saturdays and Sundays. On weekdays, the show will be replaced by House, an American television medical drama series.
With e.tv opting not to exercise its right to renew its WWE contract, SuperSport got the opportunity to take it over with the pay-TV sports unit signing a multi-year agreement to move WWE programming from e.tv to MultiChoice’s DStv in 50 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Thus, as from Monday 28 August, SuperSport will start showing Raw and SmackDown, as well as the WWE specials, WrestleMania and SummerSlam.
Raw will be broadcast on the SuperSport 3, SuperSport 4, SuperSport 9 and SuperSport 10 channels on Tuesdays, with SmackDown on Wednesdays on the same channels. Both will be shown live with same-day re-airs.