WWE Reports Uptick in Peacock, Netflix, Hulu Content Licensing Revenue
February 3, 2023
World Wrestling Entertainment said it has a new streaming hit with the recent release of Netflix original Spanish-language series “Against the Ropes” (“Contra las Cuerdas”), about a paroled ex-convict mother (Caraly Sánchez) in Mexico who becomes a professional wrestler to win back respect from her young daughter (Alisson Santiago).
The series, released Jan. 25, is now the No. 1 streamed program on Netflix in Mexico, according to WWE CEO Nick Khan. Speaking on the Feb. 2 fiscal call, Kahn said the scripted half-hour comedy in just two days of release was the third most in-demand show in Mexico.
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“That’s not just on Netflix, but of all new series premiering on any Mexican platform,” Khan said. “It quickly rose to No. 2 on Netflix’s top 10 shows watched in Mexico.” Citing data from Parrot Analytics, Kahn contends the show is in the top 10 in six other countries.
Separately, production is underway on WWE’s new Hulu documentary series featuring married WWE Superstars Bianca Belair and Montez Ford. The eight-episode docuseries from WWE Studios will be rolling out on Hulu later this year.
In Q4, WWE’s free YouTube channel topped 92 million subscribers and remains the most popular sports channel on the social media platform, according to Khan.
“We are one of only 10 channels on YouTube to surpass 90 million subscribers,” he said, adding that WWE also surpassed 20 million followers on its flagship TikTok account, making the brand the first sports league to reach that milestone.
“We recently closed a content licensing deal that will see WWE’s output on TikTok increase as well as lead to the launch of several superstar accounts,” Khan said.
Since licensing distribution rights to its branded WWE Network subscription streaming VOD service to NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform in March 2021, the service helped increase WWE’s fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2022) media revenue 39% to $47.1 million, from $33.9 million in the previous-year period.
Network revenue for the 12-month period, which includes the upfront revenue recognition related to the delivery of certain WWE Network intellectual property rights to Peacock in the first quarter, reached $222 million, down from $225 million in 2021.
Revenue related to certain live in-ring programming content in international markets, scripted, reality and other programming, as well as theatrical and direct-to-home video releases, increased 18.4% to $61.7 million, from $52.1 million in the previous-year period.