WWE and Disney have signed a major new multi-year deal. The pro wrestling promotion and media corporation have agreed that the WWE Network will be available going forward on the Dinsey+ Hotstar streaming service in Indonesia. Here in the United States, the WWE Network is no longer available as the entire library and its live-streaming events have been transitioned over to NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service. For everywhere else, the Network has remained a standalone OTT streaming network.
This marks the first direct deal between WWE and Disney, though as the report pointed out the two sides have had some interactions in the past — most notably the deal that allows Hulu to replay episodes of Raw and SmackDown. Variety pointed out that the deal ends at the end of this year.
"The Walt Disney Company has long been the gold standard in creating iconic intellectual property that serves as the backbone for international business growth," WWE president Nick Khan commented in the deal's press release. "Partnering with Disney Plus Hotstar will allow us to deliver WWE Network content including WrestleMania on a best-in-class platform to our existing fans in Indonesia while also introducing WWE to new audiences in the region as Disney Plus continues to expand its reach internationally."
Vineet Puri, the general manager for Indonesia at The Walt Disney Company, added, "As home of the best global and local-language content, we're excited to welcome the extensive library of content from WWE Network to the ever-expanding slate of Disney Plus Hotstar. With this new content on Disney+ Hotstar, we hope to expand our reach and engage even more audiences in Indonesia."
There's been plenty of speculation that WWE might be positioning itself for a sale to a major corporation like Disney, FOX (which broadcasts SmackDown) or NBC Universal (Raw and NXT). Khan spoke with the Sports Business Journal earlier this week while some companies have reached out about a possible deal, WWE is not in "active conversations" about a sale.
"If it once was a mom-and-pop shop, Vince certainly didn't believe it was anymore," Khan said in the interview. "Part of what I believe he was looking for in bringing in someone from the outside was to make sure the community at large didn't treat it that way. We believe we're a global content company."