World Wrestling Entertainment has inked its second major broadcast deal in Mexico within weeks, pacting with TV Azteca to air “Smackdown” on Azteca 7 in the country.
Weekly series makes the move to the broadcaster from cabler Canal 52, where it has been airing, on Oct. 3. It will run Friday nights at 10 p.m.
Deal makes the show available to more than 20 million households vs. the roughly 1 million that could watch it on Canal 52.
Pact follows a similar deal inked by WWE last week with Mexico’s largest broadcaster, Televisa, that will put its popular “WWE Raw” show on Galavision Canal 9, also in October.
WWE’s two most popular shows will now air on rival networks in Mexico. TV Azteca is the second-largest broadcaster in the country.
Shows will air as they do in the U.S., but with voiceovers from Spanish-speaking commentators.
Deals are part of WWE’s efforts to bolster its brand in Latin America and increase viewership in the region —where it’s competed with the more popular “Lucha Libre.”
WWE’s third weekly series, “ECW,” airs on satcaster FX Latin America.
With the broadcast deals under its belt, WWE will now likely pursue ways to set up pay-per-views of its special live events, which have become major revenue generators for the company. Its PPV broadcasts now air in Mexico as free TV specials on channels there.
Company’s also readying to launch a Spanish-language version of its magazine next month and website by the end of the year.
“We’re very serious about the market,” said Shane McMahon, exec VP of global media for WWE. The deals “open us up to so many more eyeballs within the region.”