Netflix’s $5 Billion Rumble Into WWE’s ‘Monday Night Raw’ May Shake up Live Sports

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The deal could add pressure to the costs of sports rights for Netflix competitors

Roman Reigns and the WWE (TheWrap/Chris Smith/Getty Images)

Netflix is ready to rumble after closing a $5 billion, 10-year media rights agreement with TKO Group Inc. for WWE’s “Monday Night Raw,” a major step in advancing its live programming ambition as well as an opportunity for the streamer to shake up the live sports category that linear TV networks have long dominated.

As sports continue to shift to a streaming future, Netflix’s entry into the space is inevitable, analysts said, and will only add to the struggles for its pay TV competitors by creating upward pressure on rights costs going forward. 

Where it has scale, Netflix could outbid its legacy media competitors, including Disney’s ESPN, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Warner Bros.

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