In a significant development this week, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) publicized a new partnership with Twitch, the streaming platform owned by e-commerce behemoth Amazon. The deal entails the launch of an official WWE channel on Twitch, promising an array of content, including watch-along streams, live broadcasts, and exclusive footage featuring WWE's renowned personalities.
As reported by Dave Meltzer in a recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the notion of creating a dedicated WWE channel on Twitch came from none other than WWE CEO Nick Khan. Khan's inspiration is said to have come from the wildly successful "Manningcast" broadcasts, a popular side cast feature during the National Football League's (NFL) Monday Night Football.
Enhancing Viewership Without Official Footage"
One crucial distinction between the two formats is that the WWE channel on Twitch will not be able to present official footage from "WWE Raw" since the broadcasting rights for these belong exclusively to the USA Network.
Nonetheless, Khan is optimistic that the "companion side cast" will help boost viewership for "Raw," in the same way the "Manningcast" elevated the appeal of Monday Night Football. The partnership between WWE and Twitch extends beyond creating the primary WWE channel.
It will also allow WWE talent to have their personalized channels. The revenue-sharing aspect of this deal is particularly favorable for WWE stars. As per Meltzer's report, WWE has negotiated a higher revenue percentage for its talent compared to the standard agreement Twitch typically offers its streamers.
The history of interactions between WWE and Twitch has been tumultuous, with issues cropping up over revenue sharing in the past. At one point, WWE demanded a revenue share from its talent's Twitch streams or instructed them to close their accounts.
However, the last year has witnessed significant improvements, leading to the return of several stars to the streaming platform. The likelihood of more WWE stars returning on Twitch seems imminent in light of the enhanced terms and conditions under the new partnership.
Therefore, this partnership marks a promising chapter in the WWE-Twitch association, with the potential for unprecedented audience engagement and revenue generation for the wrestling enterprise and its stars.