This time last year, Disney and WWE signed a temporary extension to keep several major WWE shows, such as “RAW” and “NXT”, on Hulu in order to allow the WWE to align the timings of its rights and windows for renewal discussions in 2023.

Last week, eagle-eyed Hulu fans noticed that many of their favourite WWE shows were set to expire on September 25th or 26th, 2023.  However, with that date now passing, there looks to be a temporary extension of 7 to 14 days.

This follows a similar pattern to what happened this time last year, where WWE shows on Hulu were due to expire, but a last-minute short-term deal was made to keep things in place.  The WWE is currently trying to sell the US television rights to “RAW”,  so it’s likely the WWE will want to keep the status quo with Hulu so it can align the linear and streaming rights with the new contract with its new partner, which could potentially be FX/ESPN, who are apparently in the running for the “RAW” rights.

However, with Disney trying to reduce the amount of licenced content to save money and with plans to eventually merge Disney+ and Hulu together, once it completes its purchase of Comcast’s stake in Hulu, Disney might not be as willing to extend the contract for the next-day rights.    There is also further complication between the three companies, since Comcast has most of the streaming rights for WWE content for Peacock, so it is a natural location for next-day streaming rights.

Earlier this month, the WWE announced that they’ve made a deal to move “Smackdown” from FOX to the US Network in October 2024.   Currently, FOX has sub-licensed the next-day streaming rights to Hulu, so “Smackdown” will remain on Hulu for another year.  Hulu currently has the next-day streaming rights to the popular WWE shows, including Main Event”, “Superstars”, “Level Up”, Total Divas”, and “Total Bellas”.

Hopefully, Hulu subscribers will get confirmation that the WWE shows will stay or go soon, as it took a few weeks for the short-term contract extension to be officially announced last year.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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