In a groundbreaking move that is set to redefine the landscape of professional wrestling and television entertainment, WWE has struck a monumental $5 billion deal with Netflix. Starting in 2025, "WWE Raw" will make its debut on the streaming platform, a transition that WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff believes marks a significant shift in the industry.
Speaking on his podcast, "83 Weeks," Bischoff reflected on the recent financial challenges faced by Netflix, noting the company's decision to cut costs and scrap projects like Halle Berry's "The Mothership" for tax purposes.
He views the WWE deal as a strategic step forward for Netflix, signaling a new phase in the company's evolution. Drawing parallels to the vision of his former boss, media mogul Ted Turner, Bischoff emphasized the magnetic appeal of wrestling, suggesting that the sport has the power to draw viewers to any platform it inhabits.
"In the television industry, if you're not growing, you're dying," Bischoff asserted, seeing the WWE-Netflix partnership as a prime opportunity for the streaming service to tap into a global, dedicated fanbase. This shift from traditional cable to a digital platform, he believes, will not only retain the existing audience but also expand it.
Wrestling's Evolutionary Leap
Bischoff, a key figure in wrestling's history and former President of WCW, recalled the transformative impact of Vince McMahon's embrace of cable television in the 1980s. This move revolutionized how wrestling content was distributed, and he likens the Netflix deal to a similar watershed moment.
He suggested that professional wrestling has consistently been at the forefront of entertainment evolution, a trend that continues with this latest venture. The collaboration between WWE and Netflix is more than just a business transaction; it represents a fusion of tradition and innovation.
By relocating "WWE Raw" to a streaming platform renowned for its diverse content, WWE is not only ensuring its relevance in the ever-evolving digital age but also reaffirming the enduring appeal of professional wrestling.
As this deal unfolds, it is poised to mark a new chapter in the annals of entertainment, one where the spectacle of wrestling and the convenience of streaming coalesce to redefine viewer engagement.