WWE and NBC Peacock recently confirmed that the United States version of the WWE Network will be heading exclusively to the NBC Peacock streaming service. The move takes place on March 18th and will see WWE take 1 billion dollars over a 5 year contract for the streaming service to air the company’s first run and classic programming.
The deal will see current subscribers to the WWE Network ‘save’ $5 per month, with Peacock’s Premium (ads included) service being only $5 per month. The higher tier for Peacock is $9.99 without ads; so whilst this won’t be a saving, WWE fans can get a ton more content for their dollar, as they already pay $9.99 per month for the native Network app.
Currently, NBC’s Peacock TV has around 26 million subscribers; compare this to the WWE Network’s ‘usual’ 1 to 1.8 million subs for the Network? It’s a giant leap for the sports entertainment brand.
WWE on Peacock
The current subscribers from WWE Network will be migrated over from the native service to Peacock. That will be just in time for the roll out in March. WWE’s first PPV event on Peacock will be Fast Lane; giving the companies time to iron out the kinks before the all important WrestleMania shows in April.
Some fans and critics have said that this isn’t as big a move as it appears; that WWE will not be able to catch on to that ‘causal’ audience that they’re so desperate to grab. The nature of WWE’s FOX deal has meant that SmackDown is currently the number 1 show in WWE’s arsenal, consistently drawing over 2 million viewers…but the Peacock deal could be bigger than that for one major reason.
If you’re a user of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or any other major streaming service? You’ll know that there’s consistently programming that is suggested for you. If you’re like me, sometimes you’ll trawl through streaming services looking for something new to binge; that isn’t something that you’re getting from a TV network.
With a television network? There is no interactivity, and if you don’t know the programming exists? They have to hope you’ll see physical advertisements (in a pandemic?) or (shock horror) buy a TV guide.
With Peacock spending a Billion dollars to get the WWE streaming rights for 5 years? They’re looking to break into the sports/entertainment market massively. That is 52 consistent weeks a year of first run programming plus a major back catalogue of PPV events, docu-series and more. Peacock are going to advertise this on their streaming service MASSIVELY to see a return on their investment.
The future of sports programming is going to be heavily tailored towards streaming services; every household has at least a smartphone or mobile device that is capable of streaming content. Traditional television has been ‘dying’ over the past decade and more and more people are cutting the cable and opting for the likes of the aforementioned Netflix and Prime. NBC and Peacock have announced their arrival with this new deal with WWE, making it the exclusive home for the Network’s content.
This could be bigger and better than the FOX deal, because now WWE and NBC can target 26 million subscribers and put the product right in front of them. That isn’t something that FOX and WWE can do with SmackDown; it certainly isn’t something that they can do with USA Network and RAW. Yes, FOX is in FAR more homes than Peacock, but the fact is when people go into an app the streaming service can tailor and dictate exactly what you see.
If you want to talk to me about the Peacock/WWE deal then hit me up on Twitter @fighterfansite or @jakejeremypuro
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