The Elon Musk-owned social platform X, previously known as Twitter, has signed a two-year deal with the WWE for a new exclusive weekly video series. Called WWE Speed, the concept will feature timed matches meant to be completed in five minutes or less.
The series, which is planned to be live to tape, will debut this spring and will feature WWE superstars from across its roster. The content will be exclusive (the matches will not be repurposed from other WWE programming), with new episodes debuting 52 weeks per year.
The deal marks a significant push into entertainment for X, which announced a 10-show deal with Range Media Partners last month, as well as new shows from former CNN host Don Lemon, sports talk host Jim Rome, and former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
X also streamed exclusive content from Fox for last year’s FIFA World Cup, and this year will stream some content from NBCUniversal tied to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Sports, including wrestling (which is somewhat sports-adjacent, though usually live), is a major driver of conversation on X.
The WWE, meanwhile, has been dramatically reworking its rights deals since becoming TKO last year in its merger with Endeavor’s UFC. Most recently, Netflix inked a 10-year, $5 billion deal for Raw and the WWE’s international rights; Smackdown left Fox for USA Network (with some specials on NBC); and WWE NXT left USA for The CW.
WWE Speed, given its weekly cadence and short run time, is a smaller deal than those long-form programs, but it does suggest a willingness by the WWE to slice and slice rights and to look for new ways to add rights revenue since Endeavor acquired a controlling stake.
X, meanwhile, gets exclusive content that straddles sports and entertainment and has advertising appeal. Indeed, X is expected to package it for marketers in a bid to expand its sponsorship business.