An important WWE executive played a major role in the company’s new deal with Twitch.
It was announced in April that WWE had reached an agreement with Twitch for the two companies to work together to allow contracted WWE superstars to appear on Twitch. This was a change in directive after WWE had previously banned their superstars from being on Twitch.
Earlier this week, WWE announced that a new “sidecast” of WWE Monday Night Raw will air on Twitch. This is from the press release that was sent out.
“STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced a multi-year partnership with Twitch that will see the return of the official WWE channel and popular WWE Superstar channels, featuring live and exclusive content.
“In addition to the launch of the channel, WWE will debut today a companion sidecast to Monday Night RAW, bringing the WWE Universe behind the scenes and closer to the in-ring action.”
“The weekly viewing experience will be led by a rotating cast of hosts and will regularly feature appearances by WWE Superstars, unique and exclusive content such as backstage interviews, and more. Viewers can stream the sidecast live every Monday beginning at 8 p.m. ET via https://www.twitch.tv/wwe or the Twitch App.”
“Additionally, the official WWE channel will be home to other live productions and will serve as an alternate live streaming feed for all of WWE’s premium live event press conferences.”
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE’s Chief Executive Officer Nick Khan played a key role in making the deal with Twitch because of the success of ESPN’s sidecast during Monday Night Football games.
“WWE announced a multi-year partnership with Twitch that will also include a weekly Raw simulcast. Nick Khan had this idea from the success of the Monday Night Football Manning-casts but with USA Network owning the rights, they can’t do any video or audio from Raw on these shows.
“For football, what they were copying was different because even if some viewers watched on ESPN 2 instead of ESPN, it’s still the top drawing show of the night and on an ESPN station. It also has proven to help add additional viewers to the Monday night game so this is definitely a net positive.”
“Twitch will also have an official WWE channel and talent will have their own channels that they will be in charge of and there will be a split with Twitch, WWE and the talent (with the talent getting a high percentage) on all revenues from the channels, so it is supposed to be a big positive for the talent.”
“The first Twitch broadcast was on 6/5 with Megan Morant, Drew Gulak and Ryan Pappola, and according to John Pollock, who monitored it at one point late in the show, there were less than 1,000 people watching.”
Since the deal is relatively new, WWE has yet to really push their content on Twitch although that should be coming soon.