June 21, 2024

Netflix Stock Rises On WWE ‘Raw’ Deal

Streaming video leader Netflix (NFLX) on Tuesday announced a deal with TKO Group Holdings (TKO) to carry the WWE’s flagship pro wrestling program “Raw” starting next year. Netflix stock rose on the news.

After experimenting with one-off events, Netflix is making a major commitment to live entertainment with the TKO deal. Netflix will begin streaming the weekly show “Raw” in January 2025 as part of a “long-term partnership,” the companies said in a news release.

TKO operates the WWE and UFC sports leagues. TKO is majority owned by Endeavor Group Holdings (EDR), a global sports and entertainment company.

“Raw” currently airs on the USA Network cable channel, where it brings in 17.5 million unique viewers a year.

Netflix Stock Rises On WWE News

In morning trades on the stock market today, Netflix stock advanced a fraction to 486.18. Meanwhile, TKO stock rocketed 18.2% to 91.52. Endeavor stock jumped 4.6% to 25.73.

On Netflix, “Raw” will be available initially in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Latin America, among other territories, with additional countries and regions to be added over time.

“We are excited to have WWE Raw, with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria said in a written statement. “By combining our reach, recommendations, and fandom with WWE, we’ll be able to deliver more joy and value for their audiences and our members.”

Mark Shapiro, TKO president and chief operating officer, called the deal “transformative.”

He added, “It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years.”

In a regulatory filing, TKO said the 10-year deal is worth over $5 billion. Plus, Netflix has an option to extend the agreement for another 10 years.

Deal Called ‘Landmark’ Move

Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall called the Netflix-TKO deal a “landmark move.”

Netflix will use WWE Raw to accelerate its scale in the online advertising business, Cahall said in a client note. The deal also could increase Netflix’s subscriber base.

Cahall reiterated his overweight, or buy, rating on Netflix stock with a price target of 460.

Follow Patrick Seitz on X, formerly Twitter, at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories on consumer technology, software and semiconductor stocks.


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