Ad-free Netflix subscribers won’t see commercials on Raw
Many things that are set to change in the wake of the WWE-Netflix deal that will see Raw head to the streaming service next year. Here’s one more: Fans may not have to watch commercials during matches any more.
Mid-match commercial breaks are ingrained in the minds of viewers who have watched WWE Raw and SmackDown on cable over the years. WWE has simply found that to have longer matches, it needs to be able to cut away from time to time, though its broadcast partners occasionally use side-by-side ads next to the action as well.
Most Netflix subscribers, however, pay for the privilege of not seeing ads during movies and shows. Of its three current subscription tiers, only the lowest, the aptly named “Standard with ads” is built around ads that play before and during content.
According to CNBC, that won’t change when Raw moves to Netflix. Matches will still be structured to have commercial breaks as they are now. But viewers paying for the ad-free tiers will see just what the people in the arena are seeing as the wrestlers work through those breaks.
Netflix announced earlier this month it had 23 million monthly active users for its advertising tier, which the company launched in November 2022. Matches will be scripted around commercial breaks to satisfy ad-free customers, who will see continued action from live matches that aren’t important to the outcome, such as a wrestler in a sustained headlock, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Nothing official in this area has been confirmed yet, and probably won’t be for some time. WWE president Nick Khan suggested that it’s not even written in stone if Raw will stay on Mondays or move to another night on Netflix.
Still, Netflix and WWE could easily justify showing ads during live events like Raw even to people who believe they’ve escaped them by paying more. It’s nice to hear that might not be the case.