The Reason For WWE Raw’s Surprising Start Date On Netflix

WWE Raw on Netflix graphic

WWE is heading to Netflix in 2025 and now there has been some insight given as to why the streaming giant left a hole in the company’s calendar for Raw.

WWE’s deal for Raw with NBC Universal was set to come to an end in October 2024 with Netflix taking over as the home for the red brand in January 2025. That left a two-month gap in WWE’s schedule that had been shrouded in uncertainty.

However, WWE has now signed an eight-figure deal with NBC Universal to plug that gap, meaning that Raw will stay on the USA Network until the move to Netflix takes place.

Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer explained why the start date for the Netflix deal left the gap in WWE’s calendar and it simply came down to what the streaming giant wanted:

They didn’t want it until January. Netflix is a worldwide company, and all the deals that they were picking up expired at the end of December. They had deals in Canada and in England, and everywhere, and they all expire at the end of December.

They wanted a 10-year deal [from] January to January, they had the ball in their court. They didn’t want an October to October deal. They wanted a January to December deal. Obviously, they didn’t want to pick it up early, because if they wanted to pick it up early they could have got it, but then the whole thing is that it’s only for the United States. I mean, it’s already a situation where they wanted everything.

WWE Content Could Disappear On Netflix

Meltzer continued by explaining why Netflix won’t have the rights for SmackDown or NXT yet and warned that any content on the WWE Network that Netflix doesn’t want could disappear:

Because WWE had made the deals for the United States for Smackdown and for NXT before the Netflix deal, they can’t get either of those deals for five years. So but for everywhere else in the world, they’re getting all the shows, and they’re getting the pay-per-views, and they’re getting the essentially the Network, whatever they want to pick up in the Network, who knows how much they want, but they have the rights to all of it, and nobody else has, anything they don’t pick up is going to disappear into the abyss.

As well as the WWE Network being home to the company’s back catalogue of shows, it also houses WCW, ECW, AWA, Mid-South, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and WCCW content as well as some hidden gems from the past that could be lost forever if Netflix prioritises modern content.

h/t Inside The Ropes