WWE, MBC sign MENA broadcast partnership
March 23, 2022
By Nik Roseveare
WWE and MBC Group have announced a major broadcast partnership that will see MBC’s 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 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 March 26th 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 March 29th, 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.
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.