WWE RAW is heading to Netflix next year in a reported $5bn broadcast agreement across the next 10 years.
The WWE – part of TKO Group Holdings – announced that its weekly flagship show will leave linear television after 31 years for the first time to join the burgeoning sports streaming landscape from January 2025 onwards.
Netflix will be the exclusive home of WWE RAW in the US, Canada, the UK and Latin America among other territories, with additional countries and regions to be added over time.
Furthermore, Netflix will also become the home for all WWE shows and specials outside the US, which includes other weekly shows such as SmackDown and NXT, as well as high-profile Premium Live Events such as WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam.
Mark Shapiro, President and COO of TKO, labelled the Netflix deal as “transformative” and one which will “dramatically expand” its global reach.
He said: “This deal is 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.
“Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix.”
CNBC reported that the 10-year deal is valued at “more than $5bn” across its length according to a person familiar with the matter.
This marks Netflix’s first significant foray into live sports programming after initially shutting down the potential of entering the market for live broadcast rights for sports leagues such as the NBA.
Despite leaving USA Network, WWE RAW will now be able to access Netflix’s 247 million global subscriber base which aligns with its recent internationalisation efforts.
WWE’s global strategy has seen the professional wrestling company hold Premium Live Events in the UK and Canada, with Australia and France also scheduled to host this year.
Netflix Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria, added: “We are excited to have WWE Raw, with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix.
“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.”