WWE Looking To Emulate Peacock Deal In International Markets
The WWE Network As We Know It May Be No More...
WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan has confirmed the company are looking to strike deals akin to their agreement with Peacock in their international markets.
WWE tied up a lucrative deal with NBCUniversal last month for a reported $1 billion that will see streaming service Peacock become the exclusive home of the WWE Network, including its extensive backlog of content, in the United States.
The agreement with NBCUniversal begins on March 18 but the established method of watching WWE Network content remains the same outside of the USA.
However Khan has said that WWE, having secured the Peacock deal, will now look to make similar agreements with streaming companies in their international markets.
Speaking on the WWE’s Earnings Conference Call, Khan said: “Ultimately, we felt like the partnership with Peacock was the right move at the right time for our fans and shareholders.
“It was Vince McMahon and WWE who were the first movers from closed circuit to pay-per-view. It was Vince and WWE that were the first movers out of pay-per-view and into the SVOD world in 2014, and WWE is now again the first mover from a stand-alone SVOD for partnering with a media conglomerate that has tremendous assets, reach and promotional power.
“With the Peacock deal closed domestically, our focus now shifts to international markets. In addition to distributing our great domestic content internationally, our focus is to also develop content that is specifically targeted to fans in certain international territories.”
It remains to be seen what WWE’s intentions are for the WWE Network in the United Kingdom. WWE fans in the UK and Ireland are currently able to watch Raw, SmackDown, NXT and NXT UK live through BT Sport, at a contract-free monthly cost of £25.
Khan also offered more details of what the agreement with Peacock would look like for WWE Network users in the United States, saying that the cost will be half what it has been as a stand-alone SVOD now the deal with NBCUniversal is in place.
He added: “Starting on March 18, the entire WWE Network and its content will shift to Peacock in the United States. This includes WrestleMania, our vast library and all of our pay-per-view events, starting with Fast Lane on March 2021.
“As part of this partnership, WWE will maintain access to valuable audience data. As we all know, Peacock is free to Comcast Xfinity and Cox cable customers. So watching Fast Lane and subsequently WrestleMania on April 10 and 11, will be free to all of those consumers.
“Additionally, WWE Network will be available for $4.99 a month on the ad-supported Peacock tier, which is half the price that Vince [McMahon} mentioned of $9.99 a month, the price we have been charging for WWE Network in the United States. There will continue to be no upcharge of any kind for any of our events.
“The $4.99 price is the all-in price for our great library and pay-per-view in ring action in addition to the office, Saturday Night live, modern family, the Dick Wolf franchises, the English Premier League and the Olympic games.”
WWE reported an average 1.5 million subscribers to the WWE Network for the Fourth Quarter 2020, an increase of six per cent. The WWE Network and pay-per-view purchases accounted for $185.7 million of WWE’s media revenue in 2020.