Professional wrestling giant World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced that its flagship Monday Night Raw program is leaving linear TV for the first time as the company agrees to a deal with streaming service Netflix to broadcast the weekly live show in a number of major global territories.

Beginning in January 2025, Netflix will broadcast the weekly 3-hour live show both domestically in the US, as well as Canada, the UK, and across Latin America. The company added that more regions will be added to the deal during its length, which is rumored to be as long as 10 years.

Netflix has reportedly paid around $5 billion for the rights to Raw, which at 31 years old is one of the longest-running weekly episodic sports TV shows in the world.

Outside of the US, Netflix will also be the dedicated broadcaster of WWE’s Friday night Smackdown and NXT weekly shows in the territories covered by the agreement, and will broadcast WWE’s slate of premium live events (PLEs), including the iconic WrestleMania annual event.

In the US, WWE Smackdown will be broadcast by the USA Network,  NXT by the CW, and PLEs on over-the-top streaming service Peacock, meaning that from 2025 onwards the wrestling promotion will be receiving as much as $800 million per year for its slate of rights in the US alone when factoring in the total value of the Netflix deal.

Mark Shapiro, president and chief operating officer of WWE’s parent company, TKO Group, said that the new deal is “transformative” for the brand, stating: “It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years.”

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“Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix.”

WWE is a consistent viewership draw in the US, with the promotion stating that Monday Night Raw draws 17.5 million unique viewers over a year on its current network the USA Network.

The USA network will broadcast WWE Raw through to the end of 2024 but will then move to broadcasting the shorter Smackdown on Fridays instead.

One major coming shift for Netflix by securing Raw will be that of advertising. The service currently does not live-stream content of any kind and therefore does not run advertising intervals in its broadcasts.

With Smackdown and NXT continuing on linear TV in the US, and therefore remaining with advertising, it is likely no that Netflix will move to begin placing adverts during WWE broadcasts, which can open it up to more revenue.