By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE issued the following press release on Monday to officially announce its streaming deal with NBCU’s Peacock streaming service.
New York, NY, and Stamford, Conn., January 25, 2021—Peacock and WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced a multi-year agreement that gives Peacock exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network in the U.S.
“NBCUniversal has a long-standing relationship with WWE that began nearly 30 years ago with Monday Night Raw on USA. WWE has always tapped into the cultural zeitgeist with spectacular live events and larger-than-life characters, and we are thrilled to be the exclusive home for WWE Network and its millions of fans across the country,” said Rick Cordella, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Peacock. “WWE Network is a transformative addition to the platform and complements Peacock’s massive catalog of iconic movies and shows, as well as the best live news and sports, from NBCUniversal and beyond.”
“We are thrilled to further the long-standing and trusted partnership WWE has with NBCUniversal,” said Nick Khan, WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer. “Peacock is an innovative platform that will enable us to showcase our most significant events, including WrestleMania, and provide the extraordinary entertainment our fans have come to expect with the combination of premium WWE content, live sports, news, films, and television programs.”
Peacock will launch WWE Network on March 18, beginning the roll-out of more than 17,000 hours of new, original, and library WWE Network programming on demand and on a 24/7 channel, including:
- All live pay-per-view events including WrestleMania and SummerSlam; Fastlane will be the first WWE pay-per-view to stream on Peacock on Sunday, March 21.
- Original series like Steve Austin Broken Skull Sessions, Undertaker: The Last Ride and the all-new WWE Icons;
- In-ring shows like NXT, NXT UK and WWE 205 Live, as well as replays of Raw and SmackDown;
- WWE Network archives, including every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view event in history;
- Groundbreaking documentaries, including WWE 24, WWE Untold, and WWE 365;
- And, starting in 2022, one signature documentary annually.
The companies will share details on managing customer accounts closer to the Peacock launch in March. WWE Network, including all PPVs, will be available on Peacock Premium for $4.99—a $5.00/month savings—where members will enjoy access to the entire WWE and Peacock catalog, more than 47,000 hours of premium programming. For an ad-free experience, Peacock Premium Plus will be available for $9.99.
Viewers can sign up for Peacock at peacocktv.com. Peacock is currently available on the Roku platform; Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices, including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4, PlayStation 4 Pro, and PlayStation5; and VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs and LG Smart TVs. Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers enjoy Peacock Premium included with their service at no additional cost.
Powell’s POV: The deal is great news for U.S. consumers in that WWE is not reverting to a pay-per-view model for its monthly specials. Moving back to a pay-per-view type model would have been a risky move at this point now that WWE Network subscribers are used to getting the events as part of their $9.99 package. Instead, subscribers will now get the same content via Peacock for roughly half the price. It’s also a huge deal for WWE, as Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that that the deal runs for five years and is valued at more than $1 billion. It is interesting that NXT is listed as one of the network perks, as the show is currently airing on USA Network, though replays are available via WWE Network.