Jan 25, 2021 - Economy

Peacock lands exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network in the U.S.


Photo; Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images

Peacock and WWE announced a multi-year agreement Monday that gives Peacock exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network in the U.S.

Why it matters: The deal, reportedly worth over $1 billion, will help bolster Peacock's programming to better compete with the slew of new streaming companies that have launched in the past year.

The big picture: WWE, unlike most sports, managed to stay afloat even at the outset of the pandemic. In April, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said WWE programming was an essential business and allowed matches to continue despite rising COVID-19 cases.

Details: Peacock will launch WWE Network on March 18. In turn, WWE Network will shut down its streaming service in the U.S. and shift its programming over to Peacock.

  • More than 17,000 hours of new, original, and library WWE Network programming will eventually be available on-demand.
  • All live pay-per-view events, including "WrestleMania" and "SummerSlam; Fastlane," will be available first via pay-per-view to stream on Peacock on Sunday, March 21.
  • The deal also means that original shows like "Steve Austin Broken Skull Sessions" and in-ring shows like "WWE 205 Live" will be on Peacock exclusively, as will replays of "Raw" and "SmackDown."
  • All WWE Network archives will also be included on-demand.
  • WWE said that starting in 2022, it will bring one signature documentary exclusively to Peacock.

Be smart: For wrestling fans, this is a win. The WWE Network will be made available via Peacock for $4.99 monthly with ads, as opposed to the $9.99 monthly ad-free subscription that the WWE Network currently costs. Still, if a super-fan wants to watch WWE without ads on Peacock, it will cost them $9.99.

What they're saying: “NBCUniversal has a long-standing relationship with WWE that began nearly 30 years ago with Monday Night Raw on USA," said Rick Cordella, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of Peacock.

  • Nick Khan, president and chief revenue officer of WWE, said Peacock will enable WWE to showcase its most important events, including WrestleMania.

What's next: The companies plan to share more details on managing customer accounts closer to the Peacock launch in March.

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