WWE And Foxtel Set Expanded Rights Deal In Australia – Deadline


Australia’s Foxtel Group, which is majority-owned by News Corp., has set an expanded rights deal for the WWE in Australia, including a streaming shift reminiscent of the wrestling outfit’s U.S. alliance with Peacock.

The WWE Network, formerly a stand-alone streaming service, will be subsumed into Binge, a Foxtel outlet. The companies did not disclose any terms for the new multi-year agreement, which also encompasses linear TV, but a person familiar with the deal said it marks a significant increase over the prior one reached by the parties in 2017. The total footprint is about 4.5 million subscribers on Foxtel as well as streaming outlets Kayo Sports and Binge.

Under the deal, Foxtel will launch a dedicated, 24/7 WWE channel, which will be a venue for all premium live events. Those WWE events, which used to cost as much as $30 apiece on a pay-per-view basis, will also be included at no extra charge on Fox8, a pay-TV channel owned by Foxtel.

The extension of business dealings with a key part of the Murdoch media empire comes as Fox faces a decision Stateside about Friday Night Smackdown. A 5-year deal reached by the parties in 2018 will expire next year.

We are thrilled to remain the long-term partner of WWE, and be part of what will be an exciting new chapter for WWE in Australia,“ said Amanda Laing, Foxtel Group Chief Content and Commercial Officer, in a press release.

“For generations, WWE has delighted fans across the globe and we’re thrilled this expanded partnership makes Binge the new streaming home of WWE in Australia,” Binge Executive Director Alison Hurbert-Burns said.

“With its far-reaching and engaged audience, the Foxtel Group has been a trusted and long-standing partner of WWE for more than 20 years,” said WWE Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with the Foxtel Group, and welcoming Binge as the new streaming home of WWE Network in the region.

McMahon’s Co-CEO, Nick Khan, has been telling investors in recent months that the wind is at the company’s back when it comes to global streaming. Having already locked in Peacock in 2021 for $500 million, the company is now exploring the possibilities around the world, with the asking price rising in most territories.

The streaming setup on Binge, whose subscription plans start at $10 a month, will begin in January 2023. WWE will continue to be available to all Foxtel subscribers on both the Fox8 channel, with the new dedicated channel launching in December. Kayo will continue to feature select WWE programming.


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