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TVN Wrestles WWE SVOD Deal

TVN Entertainment Corp. will serve as the distribution outlet for World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s upstart WWE 24/7 subscription-video-on-demand service as part of a “wide-ranging” VOD preferred-partner-services agreement announced Wednesday.

As part of the deal, TVN will also make available to WWE its “TVNow” VOD-encoding and transport service, which would allow content owners to capture live programs and make them available on-demand to customers within hours of the original broadcast. Executives from both companies also said they may pursue future opportunities related to interactive television and other technological applications.

“When you get to the strong brand that the WWE brings to the market, it generates a lot of buzz,” TVN executive vice president Jim Riley said. “What VOD needs now is awareness and new people sampling, and this is a great opportunity to bring a new category of subscribers into the user base for VOD.”

WWE said it is currently negotiating carriage deals with operators for WWE 24/7, which will feature programming from its vast content library.

“Our agreement with TVN is a tremendous strategic catalyst to our upcoming rollout across cable operators later this month,” WWE Enterprises senior VP Tom Barreca said in a prepared statement. “This agreement should energize both our distributors and our avid fan base, which is anxious to enjoy WWE 24/7 on their schedule."

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.