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WrestleMania 38 Proves to be a Streaming and Engagement Hit for Peacock

Jeff Kotuby

Despite some early objections, it looks like the partnership between the WWE and Peacock is proving to be beneficial if recent figures related to WrestleMania 38 are any indication.

Content intelligence firm Diesel Labs reported key growth figures for WrestleMania 38 as compared to last year’s wrestling spectacular and other live events on Peacock. While WM37 drove a higher audience lift percentage than WM38, keep in mind that the switch from WWE Network to Peacock happened just before the event took place. Obviously, with a million WWE Network subscribers switching to Peacock for the biggest event in sports entertainment, you’re going to see a bit of growth. Compared to other 2022 events, the only one that garnered more lift was the 2022 Winter Olympics — and only by a percentage point.

What should excite Peacock is the dramatic rise in engagement, especially new engagement, with WrestleMania year-over-year. According to Diesel Labs, there was an 18.9% YoY increase in engagement for WrestleMania 38 vs WrestleMania 37, and 71.9% of the WrestleMania 38 audience were new engagers this year, having not engaged with WrestleMania 37 at all. Those numbers greatly eclipse the number of viewers who engaged with WrestleMania 36, the last such event to be shown on the WWE Network.

Despite early issues with the streamer's functionality, the partnership between WWE and Peacock has been great for both parties. In the company’s Q4 earnings call, WWE reported that 3.5 million paid Peacock subscribers have watched its content since the move, with WWE president Nick Khan saying, “More people are watching WWE premium live events than ever before.”

On the Peacock side, WWE content proved to be a key generator of new subscribers following the move. Of the 1.1 million subscribers to WWE Network, one million successfully converted to Peacock subscriptions, and more than half of the 3 million Peacock subscribers who watched WWE content last year indicated that they signed up “because of WWE.”

While pro wrestling still might just be a niche in the overall streaming market, Peacock might have finally found a tentpole to build its fledgling service around.

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that gives access to up to 15,000 hours of content including original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series.

It will include news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.

Just like other streaming services, Peacock will have their own original series including Bel-Air, Girls5Eva, Rutherford Falls (Ed Helms), Dr. Death (Alec Baldwin), and a behind-the-scenes docs-series about Saturday Night Live.

The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like the entire Dick Wolf library including Law & Order and Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.