World Wrestling Entertainment® and NBC Universal have inked a new, three-year agreement that will return WWE cable programming, including ratings titan Monday Night RAW®, to USA Network beginning in October 2005, it was announced today by Linda McMahon, WWE CEO, and Bonnie Hammer, president, USA Network and SCI FI Channel. RAW, a cable mainstay for more than 12 years, continues to be the most watched regularly scheduled year-round program on ad-supported cable television.
The agreement is a homecoming of sorts for WWE, which introduced Monday Night RAW on USA on January 11, 1993. The prime time cable series flourished for seven years, establishing cable ratings records, before moving to Spike TV in September 25, 2000.
"I'm thrilled to be back in business again with Vince and Linda McMahon," said Hammer. "I led the USA team that helped grow RAW into a true pop phenomenon, and it's great to welcome it home."
In addition to Monday Night Raw, USA will air a one-hour weekend RAW-branded program, and NBCU's Telemundo will air Spanish-language versions of RAW. NBC will also air at least two yearly, 90-minute Saturday late night RAW specials.
"This broad and diverse distribution will provide WWE excellent platforms from which to reach our existing fans as well as broaden our audience," said McMahon. "We're very happy to be returning to USA Network, where we experienced some of our greatest successes, and to NBC, where we had tremendous success with Saturday Night Main Event in the 1980's."
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. Additional information relating to the agreement can be found in a Form 8-K filed with the SEC today by WWE.
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