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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Up against the ropes, WWE Network hands exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Peacock

Illustration for article titled Up against the ropes, WWE Network hands exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Peacock
Image: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

Niche streaming platforms tend to be a hard sell, even for ones dedicated to wildly popular properties like WWE. Despite its millions of fans worldwide, the WWE’s dedicated, over-the-top streamer, WWE Network, has only managed to secure 1.1 million subscribers since its inception in 2014. While it certainly managed to last longer than other streaming services, the premium wrestling digital hub is calling it quits and tagging Peacock as the new home for its theatrical, sweaty, wonderfully violent content, per a joint announcement.

“NBCUniversal has a long-standing relationship with WWE that began nearly 30 years ago with Monday Night Raw on USA,” said Peacock’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer Rick Cordella in a recent press release. “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.”

The new multi-year deal allows Peacock to run all WWE Network content on-demand and via a new 24-hour channel, which includes all live events, original content, and a stocked library. (Live events like Wrestlemania will still be available by traditional Pay-Per-View means, if you’d rather purchase them individually.) Peacock will launch WWE Network on March 18 with a rollout of over 17,000 hours of content and will stream its first live event, Fastlane, set to stream three days later at no additional charge. All of this will be available on Peacock Premium—which was previously sold based on the availability of The Office content—at $4.99 monthly. (That’s half the price of a WWE Network subscription.) Details regarding whether or not existing members will immediately have Peacock Premium access are not available as of yet.

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