The WWE Network will launch in China later this week following a continued successful partnership with Chinese company PPTV.
WWE is such a global brand, and its programming is so readily available to the majority of fans reading this, it's hard to imagine that there are some corners of the world that can't watch WWE at the press of a button or click of a mouse. Well, there is, and one of those corners is China. WWE has been putting a lot of work into changing that, and a big breakthrough for both the company and its Chinese fans is taking place later this week.
On Aug. 18, 2017, the WWE Network will officially launch in China. Vince McMahon and the company are in partnership with PPTV, a video streaming website in China, whose platform already plays host to Raw and SmackDown Live each week. Now, the two parties have come to an agreement to add the WWE Network to that deal, and the timing of it is no coincidence. Fans in China will be able to sign up to the Network just in time to watch this weekend's SummerSlam.
WWE released a statement via WWE.com late last week detailing all the ins and out of their deal with PPTV and what Chinese fans can expect from the WWE Network upon its release on Friday. Apparently Raw and SmackDown Live have been incredibly popular in China since they began airing the shows there as was WrestleMania 33, the first 'Mania to ever air in China.
WWE is certainly not sitting on their laurels when it comes to branching out into new and promising markets. Both India and China are the main targets for the company at the moment, and who can blame them considering the combined population of both countries comes to well over two billion people. Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion is a clear attempt to reel in Indian fans, while the Performance Center currently has its first ever Chinese recruit training there, Tian Bing. John Cena has also been learning some basic Mandarin in order to help WWE's ventures in China.
With WWE's second quarter figures showing that Network subscriptions are starting to flatten out around the 1.6 million subscribers mark, they need to crack markets like China and India if they want to see that number increase anytime soon. Despite China already having Raw and SmackDown Live for a while now, it's still early days for WWE's Chinese relationship. It'll be interesting to see how well the Network fares there.