Japanese broadcaster J Sports have announced that they will stop airing WWE programming in the country after the current deal expires in 2022, bringing to an end a partnership that has lasted 22 years.
J Sports currently broadcast Raw and SmackDown live on J Sports 4, and versions with Japanese subtitles a few days later. They also have one-hour highlight shows on J Sports 3 each week. Additionally, the company distributes WWE pay-per-view events through their on-demand service as part of a ‘WWE Pack’.
When the current deal between the two companies expires on January 31st, 2022, it will mark 22 years since the beginning of their broadcasting partnership.
Announcing the move on Twitter and their website, the broadcaster did not give details on what has prompted the decision. It is also unknown if WWE is negotiating to air its programming on another service.
“[Important Notice] “WWE Raw” and “WWE SmackDown” will be discontinued, and J SPORTS On Demand “WWE Pack” will be discontinued. If you are a “WWE Pack” subscriber, you will need to cancel the contract. Please see the following page for details regarding this matter.”
— J SPORTS WWE【公式】 (@jsports_WWE) November 25, 2021
The news comes just months after WWE announced the dissolution of their WWE Japan division in September, bringing an end to speculation that the company planned to start an ‘NXT Japan’ as part of an international expansion of their developmental brand.