The mystery of the WrestleMania XXX broadcast rights has finally been revealed. FOX Philippines has announced that the highly-anticipated WWE pay-per-view will be carried by the said network on April 7 at a delayed time of 9:50 p.m. FOX’s announcement came a few weeks after WWE programs on ABS-CBN Sports+Action ceased its broadcast following the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
While it was assumed that the announcement is the first step to FOX’s full acquisition of other WWE programs (e.g. Raw, NXT, Superstars), it remains to be seen whether or not they are really committed to air all WWE programs in a similar way that rival Jack TV did several years ago. After all, Jack TV used to air most, if not all WWE programs (including live pay-per-views) for several years.
FOX Philippines needs to realize that there are a lot of angry wrestling fans who were disgusted by ABS-CBN Sports’ decision to cease ties with WWE. Yes, they have WrestleMania XXX and future pay-per-views in their resume, so why not include Raw on the list? After all, it was considered the flagship program of the WWE with over 1,000 episodes in its 21-year history.
Bringing Raw (and other programs) to FOX should satisfy the demands of loyal wrestling viewers. Even though SmackDown (in its two-hour U.S. format) is a decently good program, the main storylines are typically developed and heightened on Raw, a three-hour program that involves all active WWE superstars. And by bringing the three hours of Raw to FOX Philippines (in contrast to the one-hour ‘international’ version on ABS-CBN Sports+Action), wrestling fans should be more than content to follow a wider variety of storylines as they happen.
In the meantime, good luck to FOX Philippines as they broadcast WrestleMania XXX this Monday. And for wrestling fans everywhere, there is still a glimmer of hope for Raw to be aired on the said network.
*As of this article, the only WWE programming seen on the FOX-owned network are the following: SmackDown, Main Event, Bottomline, Afterburn, and Vintage. Meanwhile, ABS-CBN Sports+Action (formerly Studio 23) had the rights to Raw, NXT, Superstars, and the pay-per-views prior to the pullout, and also aired the one-season run of Tough Enough.