There’s more to the story of WWE and Sky Sports Italy ending its long-standing partnership.
Back in June, Discovery announced that they had agreed to a new multi-year to air WWE programming in Italy, which started in July.
WWE programming is airing live and on-demand on DPlay PLUS, the OTT premium pay service of Discovery, along with versions featuring Italian commentary on DMAX (Channel 52). The relationship between WWE and Sky Sports Italy dated back two decades.
Dave Meltzer reported in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE lost its distribution deal with Sky Sports Italy due to a combination of the costs of the rights to air the programming and the decline of viewership as fans had lost interest.
Once dropping WWE, Sky Sports decided to make a deal with AEW in order to air Dynamite in a Friday night timeslot on July 31.
Before ending the partnership for good, WWE did offer to air classic pay-per-views on Sky Sports. While Sky did have an interest in that idea despite turning down WWE before, they ultimately decided to sign a deal with AEW.
WWE aired these types of events on FS1 in the United States, which did solid viewership numbers.