STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO), and NBCUniversal have agreed to a five-year domestic media rights partnership that will bring Friday Night SmackDown back to USA Network beginning October 2024. Additionally, beginning in the 2024/25 season, WWE will produce four primetime specials per year that will air on NBC, marking the first time WWE will air on the network in primetime.
SmackDown will come exclusively to NBCU as one of television’s longest-running programs, regularly rating as the No. 1 show in the 18-49 advertising demographic on Friday nights and featuring many WWE Superstars including John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Rey Mysterio.
“NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades,” said WWE President Nick Khan. “We are excited to extend this longstanding relationship by bringing SmackDown to USA Network on Friday nights and look forward to debuting multiple WWE special events annually on NBC.”
“It’s a privilege and thrill to continue NBCU’s decades-long partnership with WWE which has helped cement USA Network’s consistent position as the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership” said Frances Berwick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment. “With Friday nights on USA, primetime specials on NBC, and the WWE hub on Peacock, we’ll continue to use the power of our portfolio to super-serve this passionate fanbase.”
As part of WWE and NBCUniversal’s longstanding relationship, USA Network is currently home to WWE NXT and WWE Monday Night Raw, which is the #2 cable entertainment program in 2023 in the 18-49 demo. Demonstrating the deeply engaged WWE audience on USA, WWE NXT (+27%) and WWE Monday Night Raw (+15%) are up double-digits year-over-year in the target demographic. WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE NXT will continue to air on USA Network through September 2024.
In addition, since 2021, Peacock has been the exclusive home of WWE Network in the U.S. where Peacock subscribers can stream thousands of hours of on-demand programming from WWE including original series, groundbreaking documentaries, fan-favorite shows from the WWE archives, and premium live events like WrestleMania, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, Summer Slam, and more. WWE continues to drive high engagement on the platform, with this April’s WrestleMania 39 livestream delivering a record-breaking weekend for Peacock as its highest weekend usage to-date.
WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings (NYSE: TKO), is an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, premium live events, digital media, and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG programming can be seen in more than 1 billion homes worldwide in 25 languages through world-class distribution partners including NBCUniversal, FOX Sports, TNT Sport, Sony India and Rogers. The award-winning WWE Network includes all premium live events, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library and is currently available in approximately 165 countries. In the United States, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, is the exclusive home to WWE Network. Additional information on WWE can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.
NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. We create world-class content, which we distribute across our portfolio of film, television, and streaming, and bring to life through our theme parks and consumer experiences. We own and operate leading entertainment and news brands, including NBC, NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, Telemundo, NBC Local Stations, Bravo, USA Network, and Peacock, our premium ad-supported streaming service. We produce and distribute premier filmed entertainment and programming through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and Universal Studio Group, and have world-renowned theme parks and attractions through Universal Destinations & Experiences. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO) is a premium sports and entertainment company that comprises UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and WWE, an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment. Together, our organizations reach more than 1 billion TV households in approximately 170 countries, and we organize more than 350 live events year-round, attracting over one million fans. TKO is majority owned by Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR), a global sports and entertainment company.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, expected programming and viewer benefits under the multi-year domestic media rights partnership with and NBCUniversal. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from what is expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to the factors discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in TKO’s final prospectus on Form 424(b)(3) filed with the SEC on September 19, 2023, as any such factors may be updated from time to time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and, except as may be required under applicable law, neither TKO nor WWE undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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