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Volume 24 No. 176
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New WWE Mixed Match Challenge Latest Move To Create Content For Facebook Watch

The recent WWE-Facebook deal to create the Mixed Match Challenge represents a move to develop new content specifically for the emerging Facebook Watch platform, as opposed to just distributing existing programming more broadly. The new in-ring competition, involving a mixed tag-team pro wrestling tournament, will begin Jan. 16 and add to WWE’s existing slate of events and shows. “We saw a really clear opportunity to work more closely together, take the great community they already have on Facebook, and create something new,” said Facebook Head of Global Sports Partnerships Dan Reed. The 20-minute format for each episode and the 12-week single-elimination format also veers away from many of WWE’s other traditional competitions. The Mixed Match Challenge will additionally be produced to optimize mobile viewing and include user-engagement elements such as the ability to interact with wrestlers during the episodes and select certain matchups. WWE execs said the move is likely to be repeated as it explores other emerging formats. “We think this partnership highlights our flexibility to create new content,” said WWE Exec VP/Digital & Social Content Jayar Donlan. The Mixed Match Challenge will not initially include advertising, but Facebook is developing ad insertion formats and will ultimately sell into Watch content.