Netflix buys rights to WWE Raw, other shows in live streaming push

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Netflix on Tuesday said it will soon be home to the WWE’s most-watched wrestling show, as part of a multibillion-dollar deal that will throw the company into the ring of live sports. 

The streaming giant is acquiring the rights to WWE Raw in a $5 billion deal to be paid out over 10 years, as the wrestling group’s contract with Comcast nears its expiration, Bloomberg reported. The series will begin airing on Netflix in January and will be available to subscribers in North America and other international markets. WWE is part of TKO Group Holdings.

“Our partnership…dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix,” TKO President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Shapiro said Wednesday in a statement. 

Under the deal, Netflix will also stream WWE specials such as Smackdown and NXT, in addition to hosting pay-per-view live events, such as Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble. Pay-per-view content will be available to Netflix subscribers at no extra charge.

Neither Netflix, nor TKO Group immediately replied to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment. 

Netflix is a comparatively late entrant to the arena of sports live streaming, trailing behind competitors such as Max and Peacock. Its push to build out its live sports offerings comes less than a year after the company aired its first live sports event, The Netflix Cup, a golf tournament in 2023. 

— This is a developing story and will be updated.

Elizabeth Napolitano

elizabeth-napolitano-cbsmoneywatch-cropped.jpg

Elizabeth Napolitano is a freelance reporter at CBS MoneyWatch, where she covers business and technology news. She also writes for CoinDesk. Before joining CBS, she interned at NBC News’ BizTech Unit and worked on The Associated Press’ web scraping team.

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