WWE’s ‘Raw’ to move to Netflix in 2025 in 10-year deal reportedly worth $5 billion

By Chris Vannini, Jason Jones and Jenna West

Netflix will become the new home of WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” beginning in 2025, marking the streaming giant’s leap into live events and a major shift for the wrestling promotion’s flagship brand.

The two sides announced the deal Tuesday, saying Netflix will stream “Raw” in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Latin America, among other territories. The deal is for 10 years and worth $5 billion, according to multiple reports.

“Raw” has aired since 1993 and has been on USA Network since 2012. This will be the first time it moves away from linear television.

Netflix will air all WWE shows and specials outside the U.S., including “Raw,” “SmackDown” and “NXT,” and live events like WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble, according to a news release from TKO Group Holdings, WWE’s parent company, and Netflix. WWE’s original series, documentaries and future projects also will be available on Netflix internationally beginning in 2025.

“This deal is transformative,” TKO president and chief operating officer Mark Shapiro said in a statement. “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.”

“Raw” currently airs on USA Network as part of a deal that runs through October 2024. It is unclear where the weekly program will air between the end of that deal and the start of 2025.

Tuesday’s announcement comes at one of the biggest times of year for WWE as it begins the hype for WrestleMania 40 in earnest.

WWE unveiled the cover athletes (Cody Rhodes, Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley) for the latest edition of its video game, WWE 2K24, on Monday as part of the buildup to WrestleMania 40. An appearance by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Jan. 1 garnered plenty of mainstream attention, as did the return of CM Punk in November.

WWE has always been about the hype, and partnering with Netflix figures to build on that, especially internationally, where WWE is already taking more of its shows. Next month’s premium live event, Elimination Chamber, will be in Perth, Australia. The company also will hold a PLE in Germany in August, Bash in Berlin.

The move to Netflix is a potential game-changer for both WWE and the future of sports and live events on streaming platforms.

For WWE, it’s yet another bold step for a company that revolutionized the pay-per-view model decades ago, and then streaming when it launched the WWE Network in 2012 with its library and PPVs. The network later folded into Peacock, the NBC streaming app, which brought more revenue to the company. Putting its weekly flagship show onto streaming is another sign of WWE leading a push into the future.

The move also signals Netflix’s first real foray into live events. Netflix has been home to several sports documentaries in recent years, including “Drive to Survive” on Formula One, “Break Point” on tennis and “Quarterback” on the NFL. But before Tuesday’s deal, the company had not invested in the massive rights fees that come with live events, aside from one-off events. Spending $500 million annually for the weekly and scripted WWE programming would appear to be a shift in that strategy, though WWE will continue the production side.

WWE draws well over 1 million U.S. viewers to both “Raw” and “SmackDown.” The deal also is big for WWE’s international audience, making its content cheaper and easier to access, which is another beneficial aspect to Netflix.

WWE’s news release did not say if “Raw” would remain on Monday night, where it has always been. There has been speculation it could change nights, in part to avoid fall competition with the NFL. The show, which expanded to a three-hour broadcast in 2012, currently airs every Monday from 8-11 p.m. ET.

The deal is the latest in a flurry of changes for WWE since the fall, including recent TV deals for “SmackDown” and “NXT.”

In September, WWE announced “SmackDown” would move from Fox to USA Network in October 2024 as part of a five-year deal. Just weeks later, WWE struck a deal to move “NXT” from USA Network to The CW in October 2024, also on a five-year deal.

Also in September, WWE and UFC completed their merger and became TKO Group. The move, under the parent company Endeavor, ended the decades-long control of WWE under the McMahon family. Endeavor bought a majority stake in UFC in 2016 and acquired full control in 2021. It bought a controlling stake in WWE in April 2023 and announced its plans to combine WWE and UFC into a publicly traded company.

(Photo: Alejandro Salazar / PX Images / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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