If there’s been a consistent staple on cable for decades, it’s been sports. Could the WWE be argued as a sport? I don’t know. It’s entertaining, though, and it’s been on cable every week for the last 31 years. That streak is coming to an end, however. Not for the WWE — but for cable.
In a blog post, Netflix has announced that WWE Raw is leaving cable after three decades and heading to the streaming service. Starting in January 2025, Netflix will become the exclusive distributor of WWE Raw in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Latin America. The company says it plans to add even more countries over time.
With 1600 episodes to date, Raw is the most iconic show in sports entertainment. Since its debut in 1993, Raw has delivered action, compelling drama and unmatched athleticism – 52 weeks a year. Blending the best of scripted content with unpredictable live entertainment, the three-hour show has helped launch the careers of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair.
In addition to Raw itself, the streaming service will also become the exclusive provider for all WWE shows and specials outside the U.S. including SmackDown and NXT as well as its live events such as WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Royal Rumble. WWE’s documentaries, original series, and forthcoming projects will also be available on the streaming service internationally starting in 2025.
Netflix Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria, said that Netflix will use its “reach, recommendations, and fandom” to elevate WWE Raw on the platform.
“We are excited to have WWE Raw, with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix. By combining our reach, recommendations, and fandom with WWE, we’ll be able to deliver more joy and value for their audiences and our members. Raw is the best of sports entertainment, blending great characters and storytelling with live action 52 weeks a year and we’re thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE.”
WWE President Nick Khan said in a statement that “in its relatively short history, Netflix has engineered a phenomenal track record for storytelling. We believe Netflix, as one of the world’s leading entertainment brands, is the ideal long-term home for Raw’s live, loyal, and ever-growing fan base.” Mark Shapiro, TKO President and COO, called the deal “transformative.”
“It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years. Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix.”
WWE Raw, as well as all of the other programming that comes along with it, will start streaming on Netflix in January 2025. It’s been a good run on cable but WWE Raw coming to Netflix is just one more indicator that cable will eventually die and streaming is our inevitable future.