WWE issued the following press release …
WWE® MONDAY NIGHT RAW® EXPANDS TO THREE ELECTRIFYING HOURS LAUCHING WITH THE 1,000th EPISODE, JULY 23 ON USA NETWORK
@JohnCena Tweets Historic Announcement From USA Upfront Presentation
NEW YORK – May 17, 2012 – WWE Superstar John Cena® announced via Twitter today that WWE Monday Night Raw will expand to a three-hour event 52 weeks a year. The extended telecast will kick-off July 23 at 8/7C on USA Network and marks the 1000th episode of the WWE Raw franchise and a television record – no other series has ever reached this milestone.
The announcement was tweeted today by Cena (the No. 1 most influential male athlete on Twitter last month) during USA’s upfront presentation in New York City. The move firmly put WWE’s stake in the ground as one of the most powerful social brands in the world and an integral part of USA Network’s social media initiative.
“The WWE Universe is one of the most socially active and passionate fan bases in all of television,” said Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel, co-presidents USA Network. “The powerful three-hour block of live TV truly makes USA the year-round destination for young male viewers on Monday nights.”
“WWE is proud to celebrate this historic milestone with our partners at USA Network,” said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “Our new three-hour Raw represents the next generation in interactive television where our fans won’t just watch the show, they will help create it.”
The expanded WWE Monday Night Raw will transform television to an unprecedented level of viewer interaction. Fans will have new ways to get involved in the show through WWE.com and social media by deciding matches, stipulations and new character development. WWE will brand this unprecedented fan interaction as “#RAWactive.”
The #1 network in all of basic cable, USA Network is seen in 115 million U.S. homes. USA is a leader in scripted programming with a powerful stable of originals including POLITICAL ANIMALS, Suits, Necessary Roughness, WHITE COLLAR, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, PSYCH, Covert Affairs, COMMON LAW, FAIRLY LEGAL and IN PLAIN SIGHT. The network offers 52 weeks of spectacular live television with WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW and is home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, a broad portfolio of acquired series and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 600 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul and Tokyo. Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.