WWE Network Is SHUTTING DOWN

WWE Network to end in United States, as Vince McMahon sells content rights to Peacock.

WWE Network Shut Down
WWE

WWE has struck a deal with NBCUniversal that will see all content currently found on WWE Network in the United States become exclusive to the Peacock streaming platform from 18 March.

Per Jacob Feldman of Sportico/Yahoo, all shows currently found on the Network will be available on Peacock Premium at a cost of $4.99 a month, down from the Network's current $9.99. Live pay-per-views will be included on top of the Network's colossal archive and the WWE Network will be shut down in the United States from the date above.

The deal's financial terms haven't been officially disclosed, though the Wall Street Journal have cited a source claiming it is worth $1 billion over five years.

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WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan has said the following:-

“NBC is the best fit for us. They understand our product and our audience and have the SVOD (subscription video on demand) platform to support it and drive eyeballs that way.”

WWE has now released a full statement on the deal here, though the full version can be found at the foot of this article.

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In addition, the promotion has updated its 2021 guidance following the Peacock deal, stating it now anticipates making $270 - $305 million OIBDA (the company's preferred profit metric) this year:-

"The Company estimates it can achieve 2021 Adjusted OIBDA of $270 - $305 million as revenue growth, driven by the impact of the Peacock transaction, the gradual ramp-up of ticketed live events, including large-scale international events, and the escalation of core content rights fees, is offset by the increase in personnel and production expenses."

This deal is almost a year in the making. Vince McMahon announced during WWE's Q4 2019 earnings call in February 2020 that he intended to find a buyer for the promotion's content rights, claiming "all the majors are really clamouring for our content."

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Peacock soon emerged as a potential new home for their shows, with Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Rick Cordella eyeing a move in mid-2020. This escalated when Khan took on his current role last August and both parties were keen to get the deal done before WrestleMania 37 in April.

Khan stated in October 2020 WWE was seeking "alternative strategic options" regarding its content, with colleague Michael Weitz claiming the Network itself wouldn't be sold outright. Talks with international platforms were also discussed during the same Q3 2020 earnings call.

Peacock hit 26 million subscribers in December 2020. WWE Network averaged around 1.5 million worldwide throughout the year.

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WWE's Official Statement

Peacock to Exclusively Stream WrestleMania and All of WWE Network’s Pay-Per-View Events, Signature Documentaries, and More

New York, NY, and Stamford, Conn., January 25, 2021—Peacock and WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced a multi-year agreement that gives Peacock exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network in the U.S.

“NBCUniversal has a long-standing relationship with WWE that began nearly 30 years ago with Monday Night Raw on USA. WWE has always tapped into the cultural zeitgeist with spectacular live events and larger-than-life characters, and we are thrilled to be the exclusive home for WWE Network and its millions of fans across the country,” said Rick Cordella, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Peacock. “WWE Network is a transformative addition to the platform and complements Peacock’s massive catalog of iconic movies and shows, as well as the best live news and sports, from NBCUniversal and beyond.”

“We are thrilled to further the long-standing and trusted partnership WWE has with NBCUniversal,” said Nick Khan, WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer. “Peacock is an innovative platform that will enable us to showcase our most significant events, including WrestleMania, and provide the extraordinary entertainment our fans have come to expect with the combination of premium WWE content, live sports, news, films, and television programs.”

Peacock will launch WWE Network on March 18, beginning the roll-out of more than 17,000 hours of new, original, and library WWE Network programming on demand and on a 24/7 channel, including:

- 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.

The companies will share details on managing customer accounts closer to the Peacock launch in March. WWE Network, including all PPVs, will be available on Peacock Premium for $4.99-a $5.00/month savings-where members will enjoy access to the entire WWE and Peacock catalog, more than 47,000 hours of premium programming. For an ad-free experience, Peacock Premium Plus will be available for $9.99.

Viewers can sign up for Peacock at peacocktv.com. Peacock is currently available on the Roku platform; Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices, including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4, PlayStation 4 Pro, and PlayStation5; and VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs and LG Smart TVs. Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers enjoy Peacock Premium included with their service at no additional cost.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.