“Iconic has a stellar track record of bringing people together to experience live events in a unique manner,” said Melody Yam, SVP Global Strategy & Business Development at WWE. “We’re excited to partner with their team to deliver the WWE Universe a new way to watch our biggest event of the summer live on the big screen.”
The shift to the big screen is the latest evolution of the WWE brand and how it interacts with fans amid an ongoing pandemic.
The base model focused on traveling shows at major arena venues bringing the action directly to consumers from staples Monday Night Raw (USA Network) and Friday Night SmackDown (Fox) to the multitude of yearly specials including SummerSlam, Royal Rumble and its crown jewel, WrestleMania. Throughout the pandemic, WWE had to diverge from that to comply with virus restrictions that all in cost the company an estimated $90 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In January, WWE entered into a deal with NBCUniversal streamer Peacock for a reported $1 billion across five years. This saw the shutdown of the WWE Network app and its content migrate to Peacock, which launched in March. Fans still will be able to access SummerSlam via the streamer amid the new deal.
The pandemic also put movie theaters in the red, with some including ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres opting to shutter. WWE’s deal could help the flailing industry regain strength at a time when moviegoers are preferring to stream new releases via Disney+ and HBO Max.
Tickets to the main event via theaters are on sale now.