January 14, 2008–World Wrestling EntertainmentÂ® fans will soon be getting their weekly doses of high-energy entertainment delivered in stunning high definition. Beginning the week of January 21, WWEâ<80><99>s Monday Night RAWÂ® and A.M. RAW on USA, ECWÂ®: Extreme Championship Wrestlingâ”¢ on SCI FI Channel, and Friday Night SmackDownÂ® on The CW will all be delivered in HD.
WWE will also broadcast its pay-per-views in HD, starting with Royal Rumble on January 27.
â<80><9c>The move to high-definition programming is another step in WWEâ<80><99>s ongoing mission to provide fans with the most engaging, exciting product possible, and our programs look spectacular in HD,â<80> said Mike Grossman, Senior Vice President, Television Operations. â<80><9c>This upgrade will be the first of many technological advances for our brand in 2008.â<80>
WWEâ<80><99>s switch to high-def was made possible by a series of upgrades to the companyâ<80><99>s television studios in Stamford, Conn. The $20 million HD renovations included refitting of equipment to broadcast WWE programming and global pay-per-view programming in high definition on cable and satellite systems around the world. The WWE also worked with NEP Supershooters to build two new state-of-the-art production trucks, and will lease a custom transmission truck designed for HD transmission.
WWE built new sets for RAW and SmackDown for their HD debuts.
WWE programming reaches nearly 16 million people per week in the U.S. â<80><9c>Monday Night RAWâ<80> on USA Network is the most watched regularly scheduled program on ad-supported cable television in the U.S. â<80><9c>Friday Night SmackDownâ<80> on CW is the No. 1 program on broadcast TV Friday nights among males 18-24.
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