‘WWE Raw’ Is Heading to Netflix in 2025

The 10-year pact puts the king of streaming squarely in the sports livestreaming arena.

Photo of WWE Raw show
Photo by Miguel Discart via CC BY-SA 2.0

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Netflix’s ring entrance was nothing if not dramatic. 

The streaming giant struck a 10-year, $5 billion-plus deal for exclusive US and international streaming rights of World Wrestling Entertainment’s flagship program, Raw, marking a big step into livestreaming sports.

The Squared Circle

Professional wrestling’s OG has had its fair share of dark days, nearly hitting rock-bottom both creatively and financially — not to mention the controversies surrounding founder Vince McMahon. But the WWE is more popular than ever, with WrestleMania 39 generating a live gate of more than $21.6 million last year, 27% more than the previous record. That made for a smooth transition as the company merged with mixed martial arts promotion UFC to form a parent umbrella company, TKO Group Holdings. Raw is shown on NBCUniversal’s USA Network, where it averages more than 2 million viewers per episode. That contract was valued at about $1.3 billion; the Netflix deal is worth roughly four times as much.

Netflix, which blew past analysts’ estimates by adding 13.1 million subscribers in its most recent quarter, is the king of streamers and the only profitable platform among the big names. However, it has been late to the live sports push. With Raw set to enter its catalog in January 2025, Netflix will be taking its first step livestreaming established sports entertainment: 

  • Amazon is the exclusive broadcaster of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football, and last year, Apple TV inked a decade-long deal with Major League Soccer. In contrast, Netflix has focused more on sports documentary series and in-house live events like the Netflix Cup, which paired pro golfers with Formula 1 racers for an 18-hole tournament. 
  • The deal will not only give Netflix rights to Raw, but also international rights to the WWE’s Smackdown, NXT, and premium events like SummerSlam and Royal Rumble, the streamer and TKO said Tuesday.

The Rock Says: In other WWE money news, former wrestler Dwayne Johnson is joining TKO’s board of directors. He’s set to receive $30 million in stock awards, and obtained full ownership over the trademarked name “The Rock” as part of a new licensing and royalties agreement. Not a bad payday for the highest-paid actor ever.