In a major lifeline for pro wrestling streaming access, Peacock and WWE Jan. 25 announced a multiyear agreement that gives Peacock exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network in the United States.
NBCUniversal has a longstanding relationship with WWE that began nearly 30 years ago with “Monday Night Raw” on USA Network.
WWE Network’s steady decline in subscription streaming VOD subscribers came to a halt in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30). The professional wrestling service’s average paid subs topped 1.6 million, an increase of 6%, marking the first quarterly increase since the first quarter of 2019.
Peacock will launch WWE Network on March 18, beginning the roll-out of more than 17,000 hours of new, original, and library programming on demand and on a 24/7 channel.
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The companies will share details on managing customer accounts closer to the Peacock launch in March. WWE Network, including all PPV events, will be available on Peacock Premium for $4.99 — a $5 per month savings. For an ad-free experience, Peacock Premium Plus will be available for $9.99.
“WWE has always tapped into the cultural zeitgeist with spectacular live events and larger-than-life characters,” Rick Cordella, Peacock EVP and chief revenue officer, said in a statement.
Cordella said the WWE Network is a “transformative” addition to the platform and complements Peacock’s catalog of movies and shows, as well as live news and sports from NBCUniversal.
“Peacock is an innovative platform that will enable us to showcase our most significant events, including ‘WrestleMania,’ and provide the entertainment our fans have come to expect with the combination of premium WWE content, live sports, news, films and television programs,” Nick Khan, WWE president and chief revenue officer, said in a statement.
The agreement includes all live pay-per-view events, including “WrestleMania” and “SummerSlam”; “Fastlane” will be the first WWE pay-per-view to stream on Peacock on March 21.
Original series include “Steve Austin Broken Skull Sessions,” “Undertaker: The Last Ride” and the all-new “WWE Icons”; in-ring shows such as “NXT,” “NXT U.K.” and “WWE 205 Live,” as well as replays of “Raw” and “SmackDown”; and “WWE Network” archives, including every WWE, WCW and ECW PPV event in history.
Documentaries include “WWE 24,” “WWE Untold,” and “WWE 365,” and, starting in 2022, one signature documentary annually.
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.