WWE issued the following press release regarding WWE RAW going to three hours in July:
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW EXPANDS TO THREE ELECTRIFYING HOURS LAUNCHING WITH THE 1,000th EPISODE, JULY 23 ON USA NETWORK
@JohnCena Tweets Historic Announcement From USA Upfront Presentation
NEW YORK – May 17, 2012 – WWE Superstar John Cena announced via Twitter today that WWE Monday Night Raw will expand to a three-hour event 52 weeks a year. The extended telecast will kick-off July 23 at 8/7C on USA Network and marks the 1,000th episode of the WWE Raw franchise and a television record – no other series has ever reached this milestone. The announcement was tweeted today by Cena (the No. 1 most influential male athlete on Twitter last month) during USA’s upfront presentation in New York City. The move firmly put WWE’s stake in the ground as one of the most powerful social brands in the world and an integral part of USA Network’s social media initiative.
“The WWE Universe is one of the most socially active and passionate fan bases in all of television,” said Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel, co-presidents USA Network. “The powerful three-hour block of live TV truly makes USA the year-round destination for young male viewers on Monday nights.”
“WWE is proud to celebrate this historic milestone with our partners at USA Network,” said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “Our new three-hour Raw represents the next generation in interactive television where our fans won’t just watch the show, they will help create it.”
The expanded WWE Monday Night Raw will transform television to an unprecedented level of viewer interaction. Fans will have new ways to get involved in the show through WWE.com and social media by deciding matches, stipulations and new character development. WWE will brand this unprecedented fan interaction as “#RAWactive.”