The past few months have been abuzz with speculation over where WWE’s Raw would call home next after the show’s long USA Network deal expired. The conversation was finally put to rest when WWE’s parent company TKO Group and Netflix announced a multi-billion deal that could last ten years. Here is a look at what this news means to pro wrestling and how some in the industry have responded.
A Multi-Billion-Dollar Deal
Netflix and TKO Group signed a multi-billion-dollar deal early this year that gives the streaming platform exclusive rights to Raw for the next 10 years. The deal will see Netflix add the weekly wrestling show to its growing catalog of live content and is expected to become active in January 2025. With the option to opt-out after five years or add another 10 years, it is also expected to cost Netflix over $5 billion.
The lucrative deal is coming at a time when entertainment industries are branching out into new and unexplored markets. While announcing it, Netflix intimated that its subscriber base had grown by 13.1 million. Similar moves have been witnessed in the igaming industry where stakeholders are looking to branch out to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and other untapped markets. Currently, bettors and players can access a wide range of Asian sites all reviewed on thebettingsites.com/th even as the industry plans to expand their operations in these areas.
The Wrestling World Reacts
The deal does, however, affect the pro wrestling world too – not just Netflix. After the announcement, several notable figures moved online to comment. Former WCW executive Eric Bischoff called the news “a monster deal” during an interview on Strictly Business. He also had a conversation with host Jon Alba about how there have been many conversations and speculations about Raw’s next home.
According to Bischoff, he and Alba initially thought the TKO Group would go with Amazon as it is a major streaming platform in its own right and provides ancillary benefits. However, the former exec agreed that Netflix was a major player in the streaming industry too, admitting that he did not see the deal coming. He said, “It makes a ton of sense for a lot of reasons, and I’m there for it, man. What a great day.”
Triple H, the man understood to be behind the deal, felt the same way, tweeting he was “Thrilled to bring WWE Raw to Netflix, coming January 2025” and that the deal would “break new ground, and take @WWE to new heights.” Cody Rhodes called the deal “Outstanding.”
Wrapping Up: What This Could Mean for Pro Wrestling
The TKO Group-Netflix deal will see the streaming giant gain the right to stream Raw and other WWE shows and specials outside the country. This will open up the franchise to the over 260 million subscribers Netflix boasts. And while the full impact of the deal remains to be seen, the responses from the pro wrestling world all seem to be positive and hopeful.