WWE’s China expansion – announces TV deal, Network target launch, wrestler signed

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Triple H (art credit Travis Beaven)

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One of the key events on Triple H’s tour of China was WWE announcing a new entry in the Chinese TV market.

According to the Financial Times, WWE has agreed to a “multi-year distribution deal” with Chinese digital video service PPTV.

PPTV will air Raw and Smackdown episodes in a streaming format “a few hours after they air in the U.S.” The digital service provider has a reported reach of 400 million users.

It’s a sign of WWE shifting their TV distribution to digital streaming in certain international regions.

“Because of what’s happening in China today, in terms of being more open to western content, we’ve reached an inflection point,” said financial executive George Barrios.

Barrios added that WWE has targeted 2017 to launch the WWE Network subscription streaming service in China.

Hunter was also part of an announcement that 22-year-old prospective wrestler Bin Wang has signed with WWE. Wang is the first Chinese wrestler signed by WWE.

WWE’s Performance Center staff held a series of training and try-out sessions in Shanghai leading up to the announcement.

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