Last week, a post from the official Hulu Support X account confirmed that the platform’s streaming rights to WWE content were set to expire. This followed a warning appearing across WWE content on Hulu recently stating that they would be expiring on Monday, September 25th, or Tuesday, September 26th. The platform was previously set to host a brand-new reality show called The Crawfords, starring WWE’s Bianca Belair and Montez Ford.
However, it seems as though the two sides have now come to a short-term agreement to keep WWE content on the platform for a little while longer. Content that was previously expected to expire as of today is now listed on Hulu as expiring within the next two weeks, perhaps allowing WWE more time to work out a longer-term rights deal with the streaming service.
It’s key to note that SmackDown is not affected by this deal as the blue brand’s rights to appear on the service are linked to its ongoing TV rights deal with FOX. Presumably, SmackDown will remain on the platform regardless until the show moves to NBCUniversal’s USA Network in October 2024, as part of a new five-year agreement made between WWE and NBCU last week.
This is not the first time WWE content has almost left the platform before the two companies came to terms on a streaming rights extension. A similar situation occurred last November which saw WWE content receive several short-term extensions before the company finally settled for a deal, with WWE CFO Frank Riddick hinting during the 2022 Q3 Financial call that there were some concessions made to get the deal done.
Hulu is one of WWE’s oldest streaming service partners with a working relationship between the two being established all the way back in 2012. Today, the platform hosts current episodes of Raw, SmackDown, NXT, Main Event and NXT Level Up as well as archived episodes of now-defunct shows like 205 Live, Total Divas, Superstars, and Total Bellas.