Netflix seals $5 billion deal to stream WWE Shows

Netflix to show WWE's RAW in January 2025

Netflix has secured the exclusive streaming rights to World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) flagship program, “Raw,” in a staggering $5 billion deal spanning ten years. This landmark agreement marks Netflix’s audacious entry into the live sports streaming arena, directly challenging established players like ESPN and DAZN.

For WWE, the deal represents a strategic pivot away from traditional linear television broadcasts, where “Raw” has aired for over three decades. The partnership with Netflix grants the streaming giant global rights to the show, including live broadcasts, exclusive pre- and post-show content, and access to the WWE’s vast video library.

The deal, valued at approximately $500 million annually, signifies WWE’s strategic embrace of the streaming era according to recent reports from Bloomberg. However, analysts see this move as a win-win for both parties.

Netflix, facing intensifying competition and subscriber churn, gains a guaranteed audience and a unique content offering to attract new viewers, particularly younger demographics. For WWE, Netflix’s global reach and subscriber base of over 220 million provide an unparalleled platform to showcase its brand and talent to a wider audience.

“Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape,” declared Bela Bajaria, Chief Content Officer (CCO) of Netflix. “We are thrilled to partner with WWE to bring the excitement and drama of ‘Raw’ to our members around the world. This agreement further strengthens our commitment to offering the most diverse and captivating content to our global audience.”

Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO, echoed the sentiment, stating, “This groundbreaking partnership with Netflix is a watershed moment for WWE. We are excited to leverage Netflix’s vast platform to bring ‘Raw’ to a new generation of fans and reach a wider audience than ever before.”

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The impact of this deal is expected to be far-reaching. It could potentially disrupt the traditional sports broadcasting landscape, paving the way for other major sports leagues to consider similar streaming partnerships. Additionally, it could further blur the lines between scripted and unscripted entertainment, as wrestling’s blend of athleticism and storytelling continues to attract mainstream audiences.

RAW to live on Netflix in January 2025

The first Netflix-exclusive “Raw” is scheduled to air in January 2025, marking a new era for both the streaming giant and the world of professional wrestling. With this bold move, Netflix has thrown down the gauntlet, declaring its ambition to become a major player in the live sports streaming game.

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