After over 30 years on traditional television, World Wrestling Entertainment’s flagship program WWE Raw is getting pinned to the streaming mat through an exclusive deal with Netflix.
Valued around $5 billion over a decade - nearly double WWE’s previous TV rights pact - the agreement gives Netflix unmatched access to Raw’s intensely passionate and loyal fanbase at a time when the streaming giant hungers for live sports and appointment viewing. For WWE, it cements their financial futures and expands their global exposure like never before.
Beginning in January 2025, the Monday Night War for viewer eyeballs will end, as Raw shifts exclusively to Netflix in the U.S. Fans can expect to still see their favorite colorful characters like Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch battling inside the squared circle in outlandish storylines weekly. However, they’ll have to stream those body slams rather than view them on cable.
For Netflix, adding the smash-mouth spectacle of WWE fits their strategy to use sports as a hook for subscriptions. Over the last year, they’ve snapped up NASCAR and tennis rights abroad. However, securing Raw in America represents their biggest sports bet yet - one they hope leads to a huge future payoff in memberships.
As for what becomes of WWE’s other main shows like NXT and SmackDown in America, the announcement remained cagey. It seems likely those programs will seek homes elsewhere while Raw goes all in on its streaming suplex slam with Netflix.
No matter what network ultimately airs its elaborate feuds and fake fights, one thing is certain - WWE and its costumed combatants will continue thrilling families with their athletic attractions for many years to come. This latest deal swanton bombs the promotion into an exclusively streamed future domestically, while greatly expanding their visibility to potential new fans overseas at the same time. Much like the superstars themselves, WWE continues adapting and evolving to put on an entertaining show.