WWE signs major partnership with top streaming platform

  • WWE has signed a multi-year agreement with streaming platform Twitch.
  • An official WWE channel has been brought online on Twitch, which is set to showcase exclusive content.
  • Earlier this year, WWE allowed its wrestlers to return to the streaming platform after an effective ban in 2020.

Professional wrestling giant WWE has for most of its operations since the early 1980s been an isolated company, in the sense that they very rarely sign deals with partner firms. In the 2000s other “serious” companies were reticent to join up with the “wrasslers”, but that was before Vince McMahon’s spandex and baby oil empire was worth R7.5 billion.

Despite this, the wrestling promotion-turned publically traded entertainment media firm has always been an early adopter of technology. It launched an on-demand streaming platform, the WWE Network, far earlier than other media firms like Viacom and Comcast, doing so in 2012.

Now in a rare move, WWE has announced a multi-year deal with the world’s foremost streaming platform Twitch. According to a press release, the deal will see WWE’s channel return to Twitch, alongside channels belonging to individual wrestlers. These channels are set to feature “live and exclusive” content.

WWE’s official Twitch channel is already up again, with 140 thousand followers. This channel will see a “companion sidecast” be aired on the streaming platform alongside Monday Night RAW.

This sidecast stream will bring “the WWE Universe behind the scenes and closer to the in-ring action. The weekly viewing experience will be led by a rotating cast of hosts and will regularly feature appearances by WWE Superstars, unique and exclusive content such as backstage interviews, and more.”

Additionally, WWE will also stream its press conferences and other “live productions” such as its The Bump show on the Twitch channel.

Earlier this year WWE allowed its wrestlers to begin making money from platforms like Twitch and Cameo, after cracking down on the alternative funding methods.

In 2020, WWE effectively banned wrestlers to host their own streams on Twitch and similar channels, especially under their ring names. Many wrestlers were reportedly frustrated with the decision, especially as it was during the height of the pandemic when WWE stopped touring and wrestlers were isolated.

Wrestlers like AJ Styles, Zelina Vega, Dakota Kai, and Xavier Woods would often host streams. Vega, real name Thea Trinidad was fired from WWE with the effective streaming ban playing a major role in her departure, as per reports.

Trinidad would eventually return to WWE, and return to Twitch in 2023 after the company softened its approach to streaming platforms, probably because a multi-year partnership was in the works.

The Twitch deal will no doubt receive heavy promotion on WWE’s live shows, viewed by billions across the globe in over 25 languages.

WWE was recently purchased by the Endeavour Group for $9.3 billion, who also own combat sports firm UFC. Both companies and intellectual properties are set to be merged.

[Image – WWE]


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