Netflix to stream WWE's Raw starting next year in its biggest jump into live entertainment


Netflix and TKO Group Holdings said Tuesday that the streaming platform will air the WWE’s flagship program Raw starting next year, in Netflix’s first major foray into live sports.

The deal 10-year deal is valued at more than $5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Netflix, which is trying to drive revenue by cutting down on subscription sharing and pushing viewers toward its ad-tier membership, has made few attempts at live programming in its history but has never struck a long-term sports rights deal before this. Adding Raw, which currently airs on USA Network, to its programming lineup will be a boon to the platform.

For TKO, the parent company of WWE, striking a deal with Netflix brings WWE wrestling to more than 250 million global subscribers.

Raw has been the top program on NBCUniversal’s cable network USA, drawing 17.5 million unique viewers per year, the companies said.

Separately Tuesday, the WWE’s parent company TKO announced actor and former wrestling superstar Dwayne Johnson would join its board of directors.

TKO shares jumped more than 10% in premarket trading following the announcements.

Disclosure: Comcast NBCUniversal, CNBC’s parent company, owns USA Network.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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