WWE “Monday Night Raw” will move from USA Network to Netflix in a deal reportedly struck for 10 years at an estimated $5 billion. The streamer will also become the international home of all WWE content.
Netflix will have “Monday Night Raw” livestream rights in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and South America beginning in January of 2025. More territories are expected to be added over the course of the contract.
Additionally, Netflix will also become the home for all WWE shows and specials outside of the U.S. including “Raw,” “Smackdown” and “NXT” as well as the home for the company’s premium live events, which include “WrestleMania,” “SummerSlam” and “Royal Rumble.” Starting next year, WWE’s documentaries, original series and upcoming projects will also go to Netflix internationally.
In the U.S., “NXT” will move from USA to CW, and “Friday Night Smackdown,” that will move from Fox to USA. Both network changes will occur in October of 2024.
“This deal is transformative,” Mark Shapiro, TKO president and COO, said in a press release. “It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years. Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix.”
“We are excited to have WWE ‘Raw,’ with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix,” Netflix chief content officer Bela Bajaria said in a press release. “By combining our reach, recommendations and fandom with WWE, we’ll be able to deliver more joy and value for their audiences and our members. ‘Raw’ is the best of sports entertainment, blending great characters and storytelling with live action 52 weeks a year and we’re thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE.”
This is a major shift for “Monday Night Raw” and the WWE, marking the first time in 31 years that “Raw” has moved completely away from linear television. Though the program has been available on Peacock in the past, it was previously broadcast on USA, which is also owned by NBCUniversal. The wrestling showdown first premiered in 1993 and has been a staple of the sport ever since.
The deal also marks a major push into live events for Netflix, which has dabbled in some live broadcasting with its reality TV offerings but has yet to get a foothold in its most prominent category: sports. Last year, Netflix unveiled its first live sporting effort with “The Netflix Cup,” a golf tournament that pitted athletes seen in the Netflix docuseries “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” and “Full Swing” against one another.
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