NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service has obtained the U.S. rights for the WWE Network, including all pay-per-views events beginning in March.
The idea of licensing content from the WWE Network was a hot topic one year ago with Vince McMahon noting how close to the finish line they were for such a deal, prior to the pandemic slowing things down.
Variety reports that migration of existing WWE Network subscribers in the U.S. will occur, although details of how that migration will occur are unclear. Those moving over to Peacock will have the WWE content available on the Peacock Premium tier at $4.99 per month, which includes ads or can upgrade to $9.99 per month for the ad-free Peacock Premium Plus. The release stated that Peacock will offer both on-demand content and a 24/7 channel.
WWE content will launch on the service beginning March 18th with the first pay-per-view to stream on March 21st with the company’s Fastlane event. It states that the rollout will begin with the figure of 17,000 hours of content to be part of their plan to migrate to Peacock.
The following content is listed in the release:
- 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.
Another component to the deal is one annual documentary release from WWE beginning in 2022.
In terms of exposure, Peacock has significantly more reach after hitting close to 22 million sign-ups, as of last October when Comcast reported its quarterly earnings. The service is still in its developing stages after launching last July.
In the third quarter of 2020, U.S. subscribers for the network were 1,137,000 with 412,000 international subs.
There are no changes to the WWE Network outside of the U.S., which include specific distribution deals in Canada and India.
Later today, we will have a special show covering this story with Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.