WWE Announces New TV Deal with Netflix for WWE RAW

WWE announced earlier today that they have signed a new television deal with Netflix for their WWE RAW series.

It was stated that this new deal is “long-term” in length and will start on January of 2025.

It was also reported that Netflix will become the exclusive home of WWE RAW for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Latin America, and other markets and will also be the exclusive home for WWE PLEs outside of the United States.

Official press release:

Netflix to become new home of WWE Raw beginning 2025

STAMFORD, Conn., January 23, 2024 – WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO), and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced a long-term partnership that will bring WWE’s flagship weekly program – Raw – to the world’s leading entertainment service. This marks a major programming shift as Raw leaves linear television for the first time since its inception 31 years ago.

Beginning in January 2025, Netflix will be the exclusive new home of Raw in the U.S., Canada, U.K. 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 U.S. as available, inclusive of Raw and WWE’s other weekly shows – SmackDown and NXT – as well as the company’s Premium Live Events, including WrestleManiaSummerSlam and Royal Rumble. WWE’s award-winning documentaries, original series and forthcoming projects will also be available on Netflix internationally beginning in 2025.

“This deal is transformative,” said Mark Shapiro, TKO President and COO. “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,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria. “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.”

“In its relatively short history, Netflix has engineered a phenomenal track record for storytelling,” said Nick Khan, WWE President. “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.”

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.

The show is currently the No. 1 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 across its platforms. 

In regards to the actual length of WWE’s new deal, CNBC and Sports Business Journal reported that their sources stated that the deal is for 10 years and worth more than $5 billion while Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that the deal could be anywhere between 5 years to 20 years in length due to certain terms stated in TKO Group’s press release.

In regards to RAW’s weekly date airing status, WWE President Nick Khan stated in a recent episode of The Pat McAfee Show that RAW will remain on Mondays for the time being.

“At this moment in time, it remains Monday Night Raw. But keep in mind, we got 10-and-a-half months until this deal’s up and running. So we’re looking at what you’re looking at and everyone else is looking at. The proliferation of gambling with Monday Night Raw football, you have an enhanced Disney package, better games, all credit to Jimmy Pitaro… and all the other good folks at Disney. You got the Manningcast, you got this year’s on ABC and ESPN Monday Night Football. You got last season, the playoff game that they got I believe was Tom Brady at the Cowboys or the season before whatever that was. You also have the College National Championship. Football and hoops on Mondays. So you got a lot of Mondays where there’s stiff competition. That said, even against Alabama/Michigan and the Washington/Texas game a few weeks ago, Monday Night Raw did a .6 in the 18-49 demo which is a massive rating against big competition. If we stay on Mondays, it’ll work. If we move it to a different day, we think it’ll work too.”

Khan also stated that this deal came together in a couple of months ago.

“Once the SmackDown deal closed which will shift SmackDown over from FOX to USA starting this October 1, we hyper focused on Raw. It was a robust marketplace, we had a number of meetings, there was a lot of interests, there were a number of offers and at the end of the day, to be the first movers with Netflix live on a consistent basis. So yes, I saw the Chris Rock special too and the reality show aftershow and they’re doing the golf Pro-Am which is all great programming. But 52 weeks a year, we’re turnkey as you (Pat McAfee) know, you’ve lived it with us. The fact that they can come to us and say, ‘Yeah, we strike a deal and you guys can do all the rest’ is something that they liked and certainly something that we thought was in our direct wheelhouse. It came together in a matter of a couple of months and we think it’s a great deal.”

Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com