entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Thoughts on WWE Raw 25

Next week will mark a celebration for WWE’s flagship program.

On January 22 (January 23 Manila time), WWE Raw will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special three-hour presentation. The episode will feature special appearances from WWE legends as well as matches that will serve as a final tuneup for the Royal Rumble.

Unfortunately for Filipino wrestling fans, Raw has not been available on television for nearly a year after previous rightsholder FOX Philippines declined to renew its rights with the WWE. Instead, commercial-free 90-minute full episodes of Raw are currently uploaded on its YouTube page for the benefit of the fans.

There is also the WWE Network subscription service where every WWE programming is available on-demand, including live pay-per-views such as the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. However, new episodes of Raw are only available weeks after its original broadcast.

As for TV5, even though it signed a contract with the WWE, it has so far opted to air only a one-hour condensed edition of SmackDown. It’s a shame since previous rightsholders made good use of a full complement of WWE programs including pay-per-views, and due to TV5’s delicate financial situation, they were unable to complement SmackDown with other programs such as Raw.

Regarding Raw 25 next week, snubbing such a show on Philippine television is an insult to wrestling fans in the country. After all, this is the longest-running and flagship program in the WWE, with so many great moments and legendary personalities to boot.

While WWE Network and an uploaded YouTube episode of Raw may be enough appeasement for fans, airing it on television may still be the better option given its wider availability and uninterrupted access. Even in the U.S., Raw is still aired on television because of reasons stated earlier.

In the end, fans can only hope that one day Raw will return to Philippine television in the near future. This is an important wrestling program that cannot be missed and fans deserve to see more of WWE’s top superstars (more than just the ones shown on SmackDown).

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12 thoughts on “Thoughts on WWE Raw 25

  1. TV5 is still using their logo. even if all sporting events have the ESPN 5 logo. should TV5 fix their WWE coverage, including using the ESPN logo, and using a full length WWE instead of condensing it?

    • Highly unlikely given their financial situation. Tapos may NFL at US NCAA games pa sila na kasing-mahal ng rights fee sa NBA o European soccer. Besides WWE is encouraging its fans to subscribe to the WWE Network na P500 lang per month. Yun nga lang several weeks delayed ang Raw at SmackDown.

      Try mo na lang muna ang livestream dahil hindi naman talaga dependable ang ESPN5 pagdating sa WWE. Hanggang isang oras lang sila ng SmackDown, wala nang iba.

      • Alam mo naman yung salitang ‘sports entertainment’ diba. Yung WWE, mukhang nasa sports category dahil mga atleta rin ang mga ito, pero nakaassign ito sa entertainment dahil scripted ang mga istorya. In essence, hindi siya talaga totoong combat sport unlike sa UFC o boxing.

      • Kaya nga sports entertainment ang nature ng wrestling nowadays, especially WWE. S+A even dropped WWE on that channel’s early days, although may action ang WWE, it’s basically considered sports entertainment.

      • When Solar and FOX had the rights, they divided the allocation of WWE programs into their respective sports and entertainment channels (Solar with Solar Sports and Jack TV, FOX with FOX Philippines and FOX Sports Philippines) since WWE falls into both categories. Even rival TNA/Impact Wrestling used to air on Star World and Star Sports. Complicated talaga ang nature ng pro wrestling: mukhang totoo pero scripted lang pala.

      • JW says:

        Well, ABS-CBN’s S+A dropped WWE on their content due to the expensive TV rights, and another reason is that they lost to Fox Asia Channel. This is the reason why ABS-CBN doesn’t want to air WWE due to high cost of TV right. TV5 (or ESPN5 rather) opted to air shortened version of SmackDown Live kasi mahal ang full episode, masyadong expensive on MVP’s part. Plus, this is a reason why they can’t get Monday Night Raw to their line up.

      • More that just the high cost, ABS-CBN S+A didn’t want to air WWE anymore because of its scripted nature that is unfit for their channel. Not only that, they also look to tap for more local sports such as MMA. As for ESPN5, signing with the WWE was perhaps the biggest mistake they made given the financial situation of the network. Sayang, may promise pa naman sila na maging ‘home of the WWE’, kaso due to their poor finances, hanggang isang oras na lang sila ng SmackDown. Perhaps they should give up the rights and WWE has no choice but to upload full episodes of SmackDown on YouTube for the benefit of Filipino audiences.

  2. JW says:

    I recently learned that WWE is in negotiation with Fox Sports for airing WWE Shows in 2019, since their current contract on NBC Universe (where they are airing via USA Network). They would announce it this May to September 2018 on which network they would air their shows. If Fox Sports won the bidding, then this would mean WWE shows might return to PHL Cable TV via Fox Sports if they won the bidding over USA Network.

    But there are several issues with Fox Sports vs USA Network IMO:
    1.) Fox Sports has their 10pm late night news so, this would be a conflict to their Monday Night Raw which runs for 3 hours from 8pm-11pm. If WWE would allow their Flagship show to return to 2 hour format (which many fans are begging to happen since 3 hours is over burning them) then it would be a happy situation for both Fox Sports and WWE fans. Para itong “It’s Showtime” kung saan sobrang tagal nila na nakakaumay nang panuorin hanggang sa huli.

    2.) If they stayed with USA Network, some investors might not be impressed staying there since the last time WWE announced that they renewed their contract with NBC to stay in USA Network, WWE Stock prices dropped due to this deal.

    • WWE’s US TV contract is of no concern to us, IMO since their setup is different. Regarding FOX, not all of its shows originate from the U.S. FOX network. One example is The Walking Dead which airs on AMC in the U.S.

      As for WWE’s future in the Philippines, we’ll see what happens next. For now, tiis muna sa livestream o kung may P500, pwedeng mag-subscribe sa WWE network.

  3. JW says:

    Raw is now going to ESPN5 but its for an hour of show. As for the WWE Network subscription, the problem is that the latest episode of Raw full episode is uploaded 1 month after due to TV airing rights agreement with NBC. The same goes to SD Live full episode.

    So watching the full version is still difficult these days.

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