Netflix to Stream W.W.E.’s ‘Raw’ in $5 Billion Deal

Netflix reached a multibillion-dollar, 10-year deal for exclusive rights to W.W.E.’s flagship weekly wrestling show “Raw,” as the streaming giant broadens its offerings with more live content.

The deal will bring “Raw” to Netflix starting in January 2025, Netflix and TKO Group, W.W.E.’s parent company, said in a statement. Netflix will also own the rights to stream W.W.E.’s other shows and specials outside of the United States.

The agreement will cost Netflix more than $5 billion and will last for 10 years, with an option to extend an additional 10 years or opt out after five, TKO Group said in a regulatory filing.

“By combining our reach, recommendations, and fandom with W.W.E., we’ll be able to deliver more joy and value for their audiences and our members,” Netflix’s chief content officer, Bela Bajaria, said in a statement.

“Raw,” which started the careers of stars like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has appeared on linear television since its debut in 1993. It now airs on the USA Network, where it draws 17.5 million unique viewers a year, according to W.W.E.

TKO, which is controlled by the Hollywood power broker Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor and was created by the merger of W.W.E. and Ultimate Fighting Championship last year, said in a separate statement that Mr. Johnson would join its board. TKO’s shares jumped about 17 percent on Tuesday; Netflix shares were up slightly.

With the W.W.E. deal, Netflix, which has 247 million subscribers, greatly expands its stable of live programming, which also includes the reality show “Love Is Blind.” The company has recently focused on sports documentaries over live sports, but adding “Raw” to its lineup brings it in closer competition with rivals like Peacock, which has made live sporting events a backbone of its service and recently streamed a National Football League playoff game.

The announcement came a day after Netflix said Scott Stuber, the company’s film chairman who lured filmmakers like Rian Johnson, Zack Snyder and Greta Gerwig to the streaming service, would depart in March.

Netflix will report its quarterly earnings on Tuesday afternoon.

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