Following a $5-billion deal with streaming giant Netflix Inc., TKO Group Holdings Inc., the parent company of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), has appointed former wrestler and Hollywood actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to its board.
The recent announcement signifies a strategic alignment aimed at enhancing long-term value and performance for shareholders across both the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and WWE.
As part of this collaboration, Johnson, renowned as one of the most popular WWE stars in history, will receive intellectual property rights to the “The Rock” trademark and associated catchphrases.
These rights will be licensed back to WWE for a duration of up to 10 years. In recognition of his role, Johnson is set to earn approximately $30 million in TKO stock by 2025, providing promotional services to WWE.
Johnson’s historic seat at TKO table: A legacy of family, fame, and entrepreneurship
Expressing his gratitude, Johnson stated, “My grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, and my dad, Rocky ‘Soulman’ Johnson, would’ve never thought this day would come, which is why I’m very humbled to have a seat at the table that has decades of history and family legacy for me. A table that my family helped to build.”
The actor and entrepreneur added, “Being on the TKO Board of Directors, and taking full ownership of my name, ‘The Rock,’ is not only unprecedented but incredibly inspiring as my crazy life is coming full circle. At my core, I’m a builder who builds for and serves the people, and Ari is building something truly game-changing.”
Netflix secures exclusive rights in $5-billion deal, transforming WWE’s ‘Raw’ from linear to streaming
The announcement comes hand-in-hand with a landmark development in WWE’s programming strategy. WWE, a subsidiary of TKO Group, and Netflix have revealed a long-term partnership that will bring WWE’s flagship weekly program, “Raw,” to the streaming giant.
This move marks a significant departure from the show’s 31-year history on linear television. Under the terms of the $5-billion rights deal with TKO, Netflix will become the exclusive home of WWE’s “Raw” starting January 2025.
The 10-year deal extends to territories including the United States, Canada, Britain, and Latin America. Netflix will also broadcast all WWE shows and specials outside the United States, encompassing “SmackDown” and pay-per-view live events such as “WrestleMania” and “Royal Rumble.”