Update On If WWE Raw Will Have Commercial Breaks On Netflix

Earlier today, the news broke that WWE had signed a ten-year, $500 million dollar per year deal with the streaming giant Netflix for WWE Raw. The deal allows Netflix to opt out after the first five years or extend it for another ten. If it does last twenty years, TKO Group Holdings will pocket $10 billion. Along with the move to Netflix have come questions about how the show will be accessed and what other WWE content could be in the pipeline.

CNBC reports that one aspect of WWE Raw will remain in place, at least for some Netflix subscribers: commercials. It was noted that Netflix has twenty-three million subscribers for its ad tier, which features breaks in programming. WWE Raw will continue to script out its matches around commercial breaks, but users at ad-free tiers will not see them. In place of those ads, viewers will be treated to the action that is usually lost during commercial breaks and is not important to the outcome of the contest. One source noted that things like prolonged headlocks will be used to fill that time.

In regard to other WWE content that could be rolled out on Netflix, another source noted that things like movies and series could be in the works. With WWE’s permission, Netflix could produce content around WWE characters and more. In the past, Netflix has produced documentary-style content about Formula One as well as professional golf, tennis, and football.

“This is a super game changer,” said TKO President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Shapiro “When you look back at the chapters of sports media history, new chapters are driven by extraordinary new paradigms. ESPN and Turner bringing NFL to cable in 1987. Rupert Murdoch bringing football to Fox in 1994. When new histories are written, Raw on Netflix will be such a chapter starter.”