WWE programming in Japan finds itself a new home starting next week.
Earlier today, WWE announced a new media rights partnership between themselves and ABEMA. Through this agreement, WWE’s flagship programming will air exclusively on ABEMA platforms in Japan beginning October 2023. Per WWE’s press release, Raw and SmackDown will broadcast free of charge, and accompanied by Japanese commentary.
These changes will officially go into effect on Tuesday, October 3, with Raw airing every Tuesday evening at 8pm local time. SmackDown will share a similar timeslot, airing every Saturday evening at 8pm local time. Fans also have the option to watch both products on-demand. WWE also noted that NXT programming will be available to watch on-demand in Japan via ABEMA Video.
Going forward, all WWE premium live events will be broadcasted live on ABEMA as well, including the upcoming Fastline PLE, which is scheduled to take place on October 7 (airing October 8 in Japan). The entire collection of WrestleMania events will also released on-demand via ABEMA Video beginning October 1.
In addition to bringing Raw and SmackDown aboard to their platform, ABEMA is also airing a special broadcast related WWE’s streaming in Japan. WWE Hall of Famer Keiji Muto (Great Muta) later revealed himself as an “ABEMA Pro Wrestling Ambassador.” Therefore, he will be in attendance for this broadcast, which is slated to air on Friday, September 29 at 9pm local time in Japan.