WWE Network to Be Exclusive to NBC's Peacock; WWE Reportedly Earns $1B on Deal

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2021

FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2010 file photo, WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks to an audience during a WWE fan appreciation event in Hartford, Conn.   WWE's 'Raw' set out to be a special kind of wrestling show from its birth on Jan. 11, 1993.
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

WWE Network is coming to Peacock.

WWE and NBCUniversal announced a partnership Monday that will give the Peacock streaming service exclusive rights to WWE Network in the United States.

Rick Cordella, Peacock's executive vice president and chief revenue officer, released the following statement: 

"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. 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."

Joe Flint of WSJ.com reported: "Terms of the pact weren't disclosed. A person familiar with the deal said it runs five years and is valued at more than $1 billion. Under the agreement, WWE will shut down its WWE Network streaming service in the United States in mid-March, and Peacock will license the programming, including the popular WrestleMania franchise, for its own platform."

All pay-per-views, starting with March 21's Fastlane, will be streamed exclusively on the Peacock platform. NBCUniversal owns USA, which broadcasts WWE Raw on Monday nights.

WWE launched its own network in 2014, which boasts 17,000 hours of programming, including new and original content, along with the company's library of shows.

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The service was instrumental in the launch of NXT, which was a WWE Network-exclusive show until it began broadcasting on USA in 2019. WWE Network is also home to original series, including Steve Austin Broken Skull Sessions and the Monday Night War documentary series.

Some WWE programming is already available on Peacock.

From a fan perspective, this partnership is nothing short of a massive value boost. The ad-supported version of Peacock is $4.99, a $5 monthly saving from WWE Network. An ad-free version is available for $9.99.

Peacock boasts the exclusive streaming rights to The Office, Parks and Recreation and the new Saved By the Bell reboot, among others. The combination of the two robust streaming services into one package creates strong value for wrestling fans and those whose WWE content consumption may have lapsed in recent years looking to get back into the sport.

Peacock's deal with WWE comes amid NBCUniversal's plan to shut down NBC Sports Network. USA is set to begin broadcasting some of the events previously held on NBC Sports Network, including the NHL and NASCAR. It is unclear how much WWE will be affected by the change.