Netflix, WWE Sign Long-Term Deal to Bring Live Weekly Show WWE Raw to Streaming Platform

Netflix has acquired exclusive rights for the streaming of World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) flagship global wrestling show WWE Raw, which hits US televisions every Monday night at 8pm (Eastern Time). WWE’s current deal with NBC expires in October, post which the show will stream exclusively on Netflix, starting January 2025. Although the deal has been signed for streaming rights in the US, Latin America, the UK and Canada, Netflix has said that additional countries and regions will be added over time. WWE broadcast rights in India are currently held by Sony India and it is not yet clear if WWE Raw will make its way to the streaming giant in the country.

The deal also means that now all WWE documentaries, shows and specials outside the US, including other weekly shows like SmackDown and NXT, along with the company’s live events like WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble, will now be on 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 prepared statement. “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,” she added.

The long-term deal struck between WWE and Netflix, worth $5 billion as per Reuters, means that Raw will leave linear television for the first time in its 31-year history. “In its relatively short history, Netflix has engineered a phenomenal track record for storytelling,” WWE President Nick Khan said. “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.”

Netflix has lately been trying its luck in the livestreaming sector. A few months ago, the platform streamed its first-ever live event with the comedy special Chris Rock: Selective Outrage, shortly followed by Love Is Blind reunion special in April.

However, with WWE Raw, Netflix will be trying their hands on a year-long live-streaming format for the first time. Needless to say, Netflix might have to significantly up its technology to keep up with the seamless live streaming experience for wrestling fans.

However, this isn’t the first time that Netflix has tried to woo sports enthusiasts. As per Deadline, the streamer was considering a bid for Formula 1 World Championship rights before the racing juggernaut renewed with ESPN last year. Netflix, however, has collaborated with Formula 1 for the Formula 1: Drive to Survive documentary series on its platform.

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