In about two weeks, WWE’s streaming offerings will start their move from the company’s standalone application to NBCUniversal’s Peacock.
We know that Fastlane will be available on both services on Mar. 21, that April 10 – 11’s WrestleMania 37 will only stream on Peacock, and that WWE is getting paid a lot of money. Other than that? Details have been sparse.
Both partners posted some FAQs on their respective websites this week. These tell you what you need to know in order to make sure you don’t miss anything – most importantly that unless you’ll need to go and sign up for Peacock if you’re not already on the service.
Automatic migration isn’t happening.
I am currently a WWE Network subscriber? What should I do?
Starting in April, Peacock will be the exclusive streaming home of WWE Network. Until then, you can keep watching directly on WWE Network, as long as you have an active subscription. You can also create a Peacock account to stream WWE Network on Peacock beginning March 18.
Note: WrestleMania on April 10 and 11 will only be available to stream on Peacock.
Be on the lookout for an email with more specific directions on when and how to sign up for Peacock.
Annoying, but probably good for fans who don’t want their service interrupted. Because this likely means engineers and IT folks at both companies told management that just porting everyone over either wasn’t possible, or was too risky to even attempt. If they could do it, they would, as not doing it will cost NBCUniversal some subscribers. Those who’ve forgotten they’d signed up for WWE Network, and fans who decide they’re not interested in giving another company their money or contact info in exchange for the occasional sports entertainment fix are going to use this as an excuse to opt out.
Once you sign up for Peacock, it’s $4.99 per month to ensure you get the events like Fastlane and WrestleMania 37 you were going to get from WWE Network for $9.99 – unless you’re a Comcast or Cox customer. Then you get the Peacock Premium tier WWE PPV content will reside on for free in exchange for paying your monthly cable & internet bill.
Peacock Premium is still ad-supported, however. There’s no sign WWE will start taking breaks during live broadcasts, but you can count on everything else having commercials unless you pony up the extra five bucks.
Okay, but once you make the move, and decide what if anything you want to pay for Peacock, everything will be the same, right?
What WWE programming will I be able to watch on Peacock?
With an upgrade to Peacock Premium, for just $4.99/month, you’ll get:
– Every live WWE pay-per-view event—including WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble—plus every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view in history.
– Thousands of hours of on-demand programming including original series, groundbreaking documentaries and your favorite shows from the WWE Archives.
– Every episode of Raw and Smackdown, with current full episode replays 30 days after air.
– Every episode of NXT, including full episode replays available the next day.
– Plus, everything else Peacock has to offer—tons of hit movies and shows like The Office and Yellowstone, exclusive Originals, live sports, and streaming channels.
Find out more about Peacock Premium.
“Thousands of hours” could cover what the existing WWE Network calls “The Vault” in their own sales pitch, but it’s odd they wouldn’t spell that out. You have to imagine all that old rassling will come to Peacock at some point – what else is Vince going to do with the library he’s amassed – but I wouldn’t bet on it all being there on Mar. 18.
There’s also the issue of anyone who’s been paying for the Network with monthly or long-term gift cards, or users who have a credit balance on their account whenever WWE’s service goes away around ‘Mania. For those, the WWE FAQ offers a blanket answer:
We’re still working through the details, but we understand your situation and will make sure it is properly addressed.
At least they understand.
Overall, I’m personally expecting the Fastlane & WrestleMania 37 stream to work pretty well. As someone who has no choice but to get internet from Comcast (and who has an Office obsessed millennial in my household), we’ve had Peacock for a few months, and it works fine. WWE made sure their first streaming shows in 2014 weren’t a total cluster****, and they’ve following a similar “test with a smaller show before trying the biggest one” model here. There will be hiccups, but it should work.
As to when I’ll be able to pull up old shows from the Sportatorium, or even Monday Night War era Nitros? I guess we’ll get answers once they work through the details.
If you’re really worried, you could always move out of the United States…
I don’t live in the U.S., but I do subscribe directly to WWE Network. How does this affect me?
It doesn’t. Outside the U.S., you can continue to access and enjoy WWE Network content as you do today.