ESPN’s Director of Programming talks WWE partnership and what the future holds

Apr 3, 2020 - by Colin Vassallo

Over the past few weeks, there has been several WWE programming on ESPN as the leader in sports tries to fill the void on their network due to the unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus where all sports have been shut down.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, ESPN’s Director of Programming and Acquisitions Brent Colborne said WWE’s addition to the network has “added excitement” and the company knew they had to act fast to put some content on their network.

“The collaboration between both entities came together in a quick and timely fashion,” Colborne told Sports Illustrated. “March 12 was the first day of all the events falling off the calendar, and it was pretty quickly thereafter, in discussion and communication with WWE, that the idea came up for ESPN to acquire some really incredible content in three WrestleManias for three consecutive Sundays.”

ESPN has aired two previous WrestleManias already, will air another one on Sunday, along with a Brock Lesnar marathon, and other WWE programming in between. Asked if there will ever be a time when WrestleMania airs live on ESPN instead of pay-per-view, Colborne admitted that it’s a great question and they’re open to discussing ideas but the focus right now is short-term.

“We felt like this was a really good content opportunity for us to show these three encores, and a really good promotional opportunity for WWE to help utilize our reach and our brand to create more excitement for WrestleMania this upcoming weekend,” Colbrone added.

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