(News Bulletin 247) – The company TKO announced an agreement with Netflix on the broadcast of the program “Raw”, with an amount of more than 5 billion dollars, according to a document filed with the American stock market watchdog.
Netflix is stepping into the ring. The streaming specialist announced this Tuesday that it had signed a broadcast agreement with the company TKO, parent company of WWE, the largest American wrestling federation, and UFC, the organization specializing in MMA fights (arts mixed martial arts).
This agreement covers the broadcast in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Latin America of the WWE show “Raw”, perhaps the best known with “SmackDown”, which brings together stars such as wrestlers CM Punk, Kofi Kingston and Natalya. This show will arrive in January 2025 exclusively on Netflix.
In addition, Netflix will broadcast specials, outside the United States, of all WWE broadcasts (i.e. also SmackDown and NXT), as well as premium live events such as SummerSlam, Royal Rumble and especially WrestleMania, perhaps the biggest wrestling event in the world.
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A $5 billion deal
“WWE documentaries, original series and upcoming projects will also be available on Netflix internationally from 2025,” adds the American company. According to Netflix, “Raw” attracts 17.5 million unique viewers throughout the year via the American broadcaster USA Network, owned by Comcast.
According to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by TKO, the agreement covers an initial term of 10 years with broadcast rights totaling $5 billion, with Netflix owning elsewhere an option to extend the duration for an additional ten years, after five years have passed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the current agreement on the show “Raw” with USA Network concerns an amount of rights of more than 1.3 billion dollars for a period of five years but without rights outside the United States.
Following this announcement, TKO shares jumped on Wall Street, gaining 18.2% around 5 p.m. while Netflix gained 0.3%.
“This agreement is transformative,” Mark Shapiro, TKO’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
“It marries the iconic WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and delivers strong, predictable revenue for years to come. Our partnership fundamentally changes and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expanding WWE’s reach and enabling for Netflix to access weekly live meetings,” he continued.
Netflix will report its fourth quarter results this Tuesday after the market close.
Note that TKO, for its part, also announced this Tuesday the appointment of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, famous American actor and wrestler, to its board of directors.
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