23 JAN 2024

Netflix closes a US$5 billion deal with WWE

WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, and Netflix announced a long-term partnership that will bring WWE’s flagship weekly program “Raw” to the streaming service.

23 JAN 2024

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WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, and Netflix announced a long-term partnership that will bring WWE’s flagship weekly program “Raw” to the streaming service. This marks a major programming shift as “Raw” leaves linear television for the first time since its inception 31 years ago. Both companies confirmed that this is a "long-term" agreement, but have not made public the terms of the deal. However, media reports point out that the agreement between Netflix and WWE has a duration of ten years and will cost the streaming platform more than US$5 billion.

Beginning in January 2025, Netflix will be the exclusive new home of Raw in the United States, Canada, UK, and Latin America, among other territories, with additional countries and regions to be added over time. Likewise, as part of the agreement, Netflix will also become the home for all WWE shows and specials outside the United States as available, inclusive of “Raw” and WWE’s other weekly shows – “SmackDown” and “NXT” – as well as the company’s Premium Live Events, including “WrestleMania,” “SummerSlam,” and “Royal Rumble.” WWE’s original documentaries, series and forthcoming projects will also be available on Netflix internationally beginning in 2025.

“This deal is transformative. It marries the cannot-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,”  commented Mark Shapiro, President and COO of TKO.

“We are excited to have WWE's ‘Raw,’ with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix. By combining our reach, recommendations, and fandom with WWE, we will 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 are thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE,”  said Bela Bajaria, Chief Content Officer at Netflix.

“In its relatively short history, Netflix has engineered a phenomenal track record for storytelling. We believe Netflix, as one of the world’s leading entertainment brands, is the ideal long-term home for ‘Raw’s’ live, loyal, and ever-growing fan base,”  added Nick Khan, President of WWE.

With 1,600 episodes to date, “Raw” is the most iconic show in sports entertainment. Since its debut in 1993, Raw has delivered action, compelling drama and unmatched athleticism – 52 weeks a year. Blending the best of scripted content with unpredictable live entertainment, the three-hour show has helped launch the careers of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, and Charlotte Flair, among others.

“Raw” is currently the number one show on USA Network, where it brings in 17.5 million unique viewers over the course of the year. One of television’s best performing shows in the 18-49 advertising demographic, “Raw” trends on X 52 weeks a year while each new episode is airing. On social media, WWE has more than one billion followers acr