The streaming service Peacock is coming to the United Kingdom in the next few months and if WWE takes the approach of selling the WWE Network the same way they did in the United States, then there will be some unhappy fans across WWE’s second largest market.
During a conference call with reporters to announce Q2 2021 results, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts announced that the United Kingdom will be the first international territory to get the service, with Sky implementing it at no cost to customers. Sky, WWE’s former home, is now owned by Comcast and boasts 20 million households in the United Kingdom and other European countries.
WWE managed to sell rights of the Network to Peacock in the United States for a staggering $1 billion over five years and they have made it clear that they are looking for similar opportunities across the ocean. Roberts said that after the service debuts on Sky, they will roll out Peacock globally via third-party distributors.
But different countries mean different rights and it does not mean that every place where WWE Network is available is moving to Peacock and at this stage it’s very early to even speculate such a scenario.
Peacock has crossed the 50 million subscriber mark in the United States, thanks to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and some other new programming. Roberts admitted that it will be hard to replicate such a performance following the end of the Olympics but they are working hard to manage retention and grow.
The absolute majority of the 50 million subs are however on a free tier and Comcast refused to divulge information on how many are paying subscribers. WWE Network is part of the paid tier on Peacock.