HomeBroadcastNetflix signs $5bn deal to stream WWE’s Monday Night Raw worldwide

Netflix signs $5bn deal to stream WWE’s Monday Night Raw worldwide

Netflix signs $5bn deal to stream WWE’s Monday Night Raw worldwide

World Wrestling Entertainment has announced a new platform for its flagship Monday Night Raw program, breaking away from traditional linear TV to join forces with streaming giant Netflix.

In the deal set to kick off in January 2025, Netflix will exclusively broadcast the weekly three-hour live show in the United States, Canada, the UK and across Latin America. The deal, speculated to span a decade, may include additional regions as the partnership evolves.

Netflix has reportedly invested a staggering $5 billion for the broadcasting rights to Raw, a show that boasts an impressive 31-year tenure – making it one of the world’s longest-running weekly episodic sports TV programs.

Beyond the US, Netflix will become the exclusive broadcaster for WWE’s Friday Night SmackDown and NXT in the covered territories. Netflix will feature WWE’s premium live events (PLEs), including the iconic annual spectacle, WrestleMania.

Stateside, USA Network will continue airing WWE SmackDown, while NXT will find its home on the CW and PLEs will be available on the Peacock streaming service. This comprehensive arrangement translates into a colossal yearly windfall of up to $800 million for WWE’s US broadcasting rights alone, factoring in the substantial value of the Netflix agreement.

Mark Shapiro, president and chief operating officer of WWE’s parent company, TKO Group, hailed the deal as “transformative”.

“It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years,” Shapiro said.

“Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix.”

While WWE’s Monday Night Raw consistently draws 17.5 million unique viewers annually on its current USA Network platform, the transition to Netflix marks a pivotal moment for the wrestling promotion. USA Network will continue airing WWE Raw until the end of 2024, shifting its focus to the shorter SmackDown on Fridays thereafter.

Unlike traditional networks, Netflix does not currently feature live-streamed content or advertising intervals. However, with SmackDown and NXT maintaining their presence on linear TV in the US, advertising is likely to become a new revenue stream for Netflix as it explores opportunities to integrate ads during WWE broadcasts.

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