Netflix on Tuesday sealed a long-term broadcast deal with the WWE professional wrestling juggernaut, as the streaming giant pushes further into sporting events.
Beginning in the United States in 2025, Netflix will become the exclusive new home of “Raw,” the WWE’s flagship program that has been broadcasting on television since 1993.
The agreement will also see WWE shows and live events streamed across the globe as their rights become available.
With an initial 10-year term for $5 billion, the deal has an option for Netflix to extend for an additional 10 years or opt out after the initial five years.
“This deal is transformative,” said Mark Shapiro, president of TKO, the parent company of the WWE.
“It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years,” he added.
The three-hour show has helped launch the careers of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena, among other stars.
It is currently the most watched show on the NBCUniversal-owned USA network in the United States.
The WWE is a ratings blockbuster that owes much of its success to entrepreneur and promoter Vince McMahon.
After buying what was then the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from his father in 1982, he turned the second-rate league into an entertainment giant.
Transformed into World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002, the league passed the billion-dollar mark in annual sales last year.
The deal marks another move by streaming giants to build their portfolio of live sporting events.
Netflix won the rights last month to a tennis duel between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz and previously streamed a golf tournament featuring Formula One drivers and pros.
Amazon announced last week that it would invest $115 million in Diamond Sports Group, the leading network of local sports channels in the United States, gaining regional rights for sports ranging from hockey to basketball.
It had previously acquired certain rights to the English Premier League, the French Ligue 1, the French Open tennis tournament and the NFL American football league.
Apple TV, for its part, owns global rights for US Major League Soccer.