WWE announced today that they’ve reached a deal with MBC GROUP to broadcast its programming in the Middle East and North Africa. The company touted the news today by issuing the following press release:
Streaming Service Shahid to Become the New Home of WWE in MENA, including All Premium Live Events and Live Episodes of Raw and SmackDown
STAMFORD, Conn. & DUBAI, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE: WWE) and MBC GROUP – the largest and leading group in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – today announced a major broadcast partnership that will see MBC’s video on demand (VOD) streaming service, Shahid, become the new home of WWE in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the MENA region.
The partnership includes all WWE premium live events, kicking off with WrestleMania 38 on April 3rd and April 4th, live episodes of Raw® and SmackDown®, as well as WWE Network’s vast library of original programming and archived content.
Additionally, MBC ACTION, a free-to-air television channel by MBC GROUP, will broadcast one-hour highlight versions of Raw®and SmackDown® each week, in addition to WWE magazine shows Afterburn and Main Event.
“MBC GROUP is a market leader in the region and a great partner for WWE,” said WWE President Nick Khan. “By delivering our premium live events including WrestleMania and SummerSlam, our weekly programming including Raw and SmackDown, as well as WWE’s massive library, we believe we will expand our reach throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”
Natasha Hemingway, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Shahid, added: “It’s no secret that WWE is massively popular in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the MENA region. This new partnership is sure to be incredibly exciting for fans, and with more and more live sporting events – including WWE – coming to the Kingdom, we cannot wait to see where this partnership takes us. We’re delighted that Shahid will be the home of WWE!”
Beginning 26 March 2022, Shahid will air SmackDown live on Saturdays at 4am KSA in Arabic, with a one-hour version of SmackDown then airing the same-day with Arabic subtitles on MBC Action at 9PM KSA. Beginning Tuesday, March 29, Shahid will air Raw live on Tuesdays at 4am KSA in Arabic, with a one-hour version of Raw then airing the same-day with Arabic subtitles on MBC Action at 9PM KSA.
The weekly programming will be broadcast 52 weeks a year, captivating fans with a unique combination of edge-of-your-seat action, unpredictable drama and world-class athleticism.
In addition to weekly programming, Shahid will launch a dedicated WWE channel making the entire WWE Network archive – more than 10,000 hours of content – available to stream on-demand. The new WWE destination on Shahid will allow fans to browse and access the entire library including NXT® airing next day following the US broadcast.
Shahid is currently available on the Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K, and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices, including Android, Android TV devices, Chromecast, and Chromecast built-in devices; PCs, Macs, and a wide range of connected Smart TVs including Samsung, LG, Hisense, TCL, Sony & Toshiba.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The Company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, premium live event, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG programming can be seen in more than 1 billion homes worldwide in 30 languages through world-class distribution partners including NBCUniversal, FOX Sports, BT Sport, Sony India and Rogers. The award-winning WWE Network includes all premium live events, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library and is currently available in more than 180 countries. In the United States, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, is the exclusive home to WWE Network. Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.
About MBC GROUP
MBC GROUP is the largest and leading media company in the Middle East & North Africa region that enriches people’s lives through information, interaction and entertainment. In 2002, nearly a decade after the launch of MBC1 in London, in 1991, MBC GROUP moved its headquarters to Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates.
Today, MBC GROUP includes over 17 leading TV channels: MBC1 (general family entertainment); MBC2 & MBC MAX (24-hour western movies); MBC3 (children’s edutainment with a mix of both local productions and western acquisitions); MBC4 (entertainment for young families with a female-focus); MBC ACTION (an indigenous adrenaline-packed channel targeting young males with local and homegrown productions); MBC VARIETY (Western films and general entertainment with uninterrupted broadcasting); MBC DRAMA (24/7 Arabic drama) & MBC+ DRAMA (a joint pay-TV channel between MBC and OSN); MBC PERSIA (general family entertainment dubbed and subtitled in Farsi); WANASAH (24-hour Arabic music channel); MBC MASR & MBC MASR2 (general family entertainment geared towards the Egyptian family); MBC BOLLYWOOD (delivering the freshest in Bollywood content geared towards the region via an Arabized interface); MBC USA (on “Dish Network” in the US); MBC IRAQ (a premium channel aimed at the entire Iraqi family), MBC5 (new satellite channel dedicated to the Maghreb); all of them benefit from MBC STUDIOS which produces the region’s most compelling premium content for cinema, television and on-demand platforms. MBC GROUP also includes two FM radio stations: MBC FM (Gulf music) and Panorama FM (contemporary Arabic hit music).
Furthermore, part of MBC GROUP is Shahid and its premium subscription-based service Shahid VIP, the world’s leading Arabic streaming platform, home to highly rated original productions from the Arab world, a wide range of exclusive movies and premieres, as well as the top watched live Arab TV channels.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to: the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our business, results of operations and financial condition; entering, maintaining and renewing major distribution agreements; a rapidly evolving media landscape; WWE Network (including the risk that we are unable to attract, retain and renew subscribers); our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; the possibility of a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent K. McMahon; possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives; the highly competitive, rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and greater financial resources or marketplace presence of many of our competitors; uncertainties associated with international markets including possible disruptions and reputational risks; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; the complexity of our rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events including without limitation, claims alleging traumatic brain injury; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our feature film business; our expansion into new or complementary businesses and/or strategic investments; our computer systems and online operations; privacy norms and regulations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our indebtedness including our convertible notes; litigation; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance, which could adversely affect our stock; Vincent K. McMahon exercises control over our affairs, and his interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; a substantial number of shares are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and the volatility of our Class A common stock. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends (including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made and are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them. Undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of the Company’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.