WWE content has been on multiple streaming services for the past several years. Due to this, not everyone can actually get to see their content because of various streaming issues. WWE initially had some issues with Hulu but now it seems they have extended their partnership with the streaming platform for a good reason.
As previously reported, WWE ended up signing one-year extension with Hulu, which is something fans did not expect whatsoever. Despite this, it seems there is another good reason for that.
While speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, WWE negotiated with Hulu in a bid for the deal to expire at the same time as WWE’s deals with USA Network and FOX, paving the way for a potential exclusive move to Peacock.
“The Hulu deal was made. They got a one-year deal for Hulu, which would expire at the end of September (2024). So the Hulu deal, the Raw deal (with USA Network) and the SmackDown deal (with FOX) all expire at the same time.
“So the reason they wanted the one-year extension – which they probably did not get a great financial deal out of – was so all three deals expire at the same time, so people can bid for all the rights.
“They feel that, especially for NBCUniversal, I think the idea is if you’ve seen USA Network’s numbers – if you take out Raw and you take out NXT – USA Network is now down to averaging 360,000 viewers in primetime without those shows. With them, they’re a lot higher, but they would go to essentially a minor network without wrestling, they need it badly. So as long as NBCU wants USA to be anything significant, they don’t have to keep NXT, but they absolutely have to keep Raw.
“And NBCU probably also wants the next-day streaming rights for Peacock for at least Raw and NXT. I don’t think FOX wants their show on Peacock the next day, but that’s all to be negotiated. And FOX does not have its own similar type of streaming platform, so I don’t know what that would mean for next-day streaming rights.
“But NBC wants all of its programming off Hulu and onto Peacock. Legally they have to wait for the deals to expire, so I think this is all geared towards that.”
Hulu’s WWE content currently includes delayed versions of Raw, SmackDown, NXT, as well as Main Event, Total Divas and Total Bellas. Regardless, we’ll have to see how the deal turns out.
What do you make of WWE’s extension with Hulu? Let us know in the comments section.