Soon, NBC Universal's Peacock streaming service will be the only place to find the action on WWE Network in the United States. At the start of the week, WWE and NBCU signed a multiyear agreement giving Peacock the exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network. This means that the WWE Network's subscriber base of about 1.1 million users will migrate over to Peacock as their new digital home for WWE content when the merge happens on March 18, 2021.
This is fantastic news for wrestling fans, as the switch to Peacock means that WWE fans will have access to the same content at half the price. WWE Network subscribers currently pay $9.99 per month for WWE content alone, while NBCU only charges $4.99 per month for the Peacock Premium tier with ads. Users can also opt for the $9.99 per month plan with no ads, which would be equal to what they were paying before, but now that will come with everything else Peacock has to offer.
WWE Network includes more than 17,000 hours of wrestling shows in its library. The service also includes all live events for no additional charge, including the company's big annual pay-per-views like WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Royal Rumble. The first pay-per-view to be featured on Peacock will be Fastlane on Sunday, March 21, days after the Network goes live on its new home. WWE fans who prefer to order these shows the old-fashioned way via traditional pay-per-view will still be able to do so, but subscribing to Peacock is much cheaper.
"We feel great about the financials. Otherwise we wouldn't have done the deal," said Nick Khan, WWE's president and chief revenue officer, stopping short of revealing the financial terms of the streaming deal. "To have WrestleMania in particular - which is our Super Bowl - available [for no extra cost] on Peacock is quite different from other models you're seeing."
Peacock's EVP and chief revenue officer Rick Cordella added, "We have a lot of data that shows live events and sports drives a lot of user acquisition. The bet is that there exists a much larger total available audience [for WWE programming] than is on WWE Network today. 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."
It's also been reported that WWE will produce "one signature documentary annually" for Peacock starting in 2022. On the Network, WWE has been streaming some highly acclaimed documentaries on its most famous wrestling superstars, such as the lauded docuseries Undertaker: The Last Ride. Many, many documentaries developed by the company in years past are already streaming on the Network alongside past wrestling shows.
As of now, the deal only includes the United States, so WWE Network subscribers living outside of the country will not see any changes. Both companies are expected to share details of how the merge will work in the coming weeks, such as whether current WWE Network subscribers will be automatically subscribed to Peacock. This news comes to us from Variety.