Netflix pulls off amazing coup by signing exclusive deal with WWE

 Netflix WWE apps.
Netflix WWE apps.
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Netflix has arguably shocked the entire WWE universe by snagging the flagship show, WWE Raw.

Previously thought to be heading to a TV channel owned by Warner or Comcast, WWE's showcase live broadcast will be available exclusively on Netflix instead, with the streaming service to be its new home from January 2025.

"This deal is transformative," said Mark Shapiro, the president of WWE's parent company, TKO.

"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."

WWE Raw will be exclusive to the streaming service in the UK, US, Canada and Latin America, with some other territories yet to be announced. That means TNT Sports (previously BT Sport) will lose WWE programming from next year.

Netflix will also gain the rights to all other WWE live events and shows outside the US, including Smackdown, NXT and the premium events, such as Wrestlemania and SummerSlam.

US rights to Smackdown and NXT have recently been signed by NBCUniversal (USA Network) and The CW respectively.

What Netflix's exclusivity means for the WWE Network in the UK is unclear, but it is likely that it will be closed as all live content will have a new streaming home.

WWE Raw recently celebrated its 1,600th episode, having started in 1997. It is the longest-running episodic TV show in the States.

How much does Netflix cost?

There are three Netflix tiers for wrestling fans yet to sign up.

Standard with adverts is an ad-supported tier that gives access to almost all but a handful of films and movies, which will show commercials at opportune times.

It streams video in Full HD and allows users to watch on two supported devices simultaneously. You can also download shows and movies onto two devices at once, for offline viewing.

It costs £4.99 / $6.99 per month.

A Standard plan is also available that strips out the adverts and enables access to the entire library. It too streams in a maximum of Full HD (1080p) and is limited to two devices for simultaneous viewing and downloads.

The Standard plan costs £10.99 / $15.49 per month.

Finally, a Premium plan will give up 4K HDR streaming, Netflix spatial audio, simultaneous viewing on up to four supported devices, and the ability to download programming on up to six devices.

That costs £17.99 / $22.99 per month.