WWE's coffers are reportedly getting even more full as both the Wall Street Journal and Sports Business Journal reported Monday that the deal to move WWE Network under the NBCU Peacock Premium streaming service is for five years and more than $1 billion.
WWE president Nick Khan told The Wrap that the deal wasn't due to cost cutting, but more for exposure:
"Peacock is free in the [24 million] Comcast cable and Cox cable homes, as I’m sure you know, so…for the first time ever, WrestleMania, which is our Super Bowl, is going to be available for free to those homes. In addition to that, it cuts the cost for our consumers from $9.99 a month for WWE Network to $4.99 a month on the ad-supported tier of Peacock, where they’ll get not only WWE but EPL (English Premier League), “The Office,” Dick Wolf and so many other titles."
Khan also said WWE is happy with their Fox deal with multiple years left, so nothing has changed there. He later told SBJ's John Ourand they are done doing deals in the U.S. "for a while" and that this is a multi-year deal that extends past their current TV contracts with NBCU and Fox. He said they spoke to several media companies about a deal but WWE's thirty-year relationship with NBC made a difference.
The news broke Monday morning that in the United States, WWE Network is moving to Peacock's premium tier starting on March 18th at potentially half the cost as their ad-supported service is $4.99/month while their ad-free option is $9.99/month.
Peacock chief revenue officer Rick Cordella told The Wrap that they wanted to expanded the accessibility of WWE content and experience a "halo effect" for WWE viewers for other content:
"So our overall goal, and why I think NBCU decided to move forward with this deal, is that we believe we can expand the accessibility of this content, right? That we can — through NBCU marketing, through the outlets that we have, all the various media outlets, through the price point reduction, through the addition of content — that we can grow this audience significantly that currently watched it. And that will have downstream impact to the rest of WWE and those TV ratings, hopefully, that you see on linear television, as well as to Peacock. There is a halo effect to those users coming in for WrestleMania, but then sticking around and watching “The Office,” watching “Yellowstone,” watching some of the great content we have in the 30,000 hours that are now bundled in with their subscription price."
Cordella also spoke to SBJ about the deal and mentioned a live WrestleMania as a cornerstone of the service, which would indicate a big promotional push following the changeover.