In a groundbreaking move set to transform the wrestling entertainment landscape, WWE’s flagship weekly show, “Raw,” is poised to make its debut on Netflix in January 2025. The monumental streaming deal, valued at over $5 billion, was revealed by TKO Group Holdings Inc., the parent company of WWE and UFC, in a recent regulatory filing.
Under the terms of the unprecedented agreement, “Raw” is slated to join Netflix’s extensive content library for the next decade, with an option for a further 10-year extension. Netflix retains the flexibility to opt out after the initial five years, showcasing the dynamism of this momentous collaboration.
Having debuted in 1993, “Raw” has accumulated a staggering 1,600 episodes, showcasing iconic wrestlers like Cody Rhodes, Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins, and Rhea Ripley. The three-hour program, currently broadcast on the USA Network, became a hot commodity in recent months, especially following the WWE return of CM Punk in November.
Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria, expressed enthusiasm about the move, stating, “We are excited to have WWE Raw, with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix.”
This transformative deal is not limited to the United States but will also impact viewers in Canada, the U.K., Latin America, and other territories. WWE hinted that additional countries and regions would be affected over time, expanding the global reach of the wrestling giant.
Mark Shapiro, TKO President and COO, emphasized the transformative nature of the partnership, stating, “This deal marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years.”
In a strategic move, WWE also disclosed that starting in 2025, Netflix will become the international hub for WWE’s documentaries, original series, and upcoming projects.
The shift of “Raw” to Netflix follows WWE’s earlier announcement in September, revealing that “Friday Night Smackdown” would be moving to the USA Network in 2024 under a new domestic media rights partnership with NBCUniversal.
TKO CEO Ariel Emanuel, speaking on CNBC, emphasized that the move to streaming platforms is a strategic evolution rather than a departure from traditional television networks. He described the Netflix deal as the “streaming play” and the next logical step for the evolving entertainment landscape.
In another major development, WWE announced a groundbreaking deal with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, granting him rights to his nickname. The Hollywood icon will also join the board of TKO Group. Following these announcements, shares of TKO Group experienced a significant surge, jumping more than 19% in early trading.
WWE’s move of “Raw” to Netflix marks a pivotal moment in the convergence of traditional and streaming entertainment, reshaping the way wrestling fans consume their favorite content on a global scale.