Netflix is getting into live sports: Will it raise your bill?

(NEXSTAR) — In a major shift, WWE announced its “Monday Night Raw” will be leaving cable in 2025 after striking a long-term deal worth $5 billion with streaming giant Netflix on Tuesday.

It’ll be the first time “Raw” won’t appear on cable in more than three decades. It also marks Netflix’s first major step into the live sports market.

If you have a Netflix account, it’s hard not to look at that $5 billion and wonder how it’ll impact your monthly bill. 

Netflix has raised subscription prices multiple times in recent years. The latest change was in November, with “Basic” and “Premium” subscribers seeing $2 increases each

The streaming service has repeatedly defended its price hikes, describing its plans as “extremely competitive” and “much less than the average price of a single movie ticket.” When it raised prices in 2022, Netflix said the increase was necessary so they could “continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options.”

There’s no mention of subscription prices rising anytime soon in a fourth-quarter earnings letter to shareholders released Tuesday, but the company notes: “As we invest in and improve Netflix, we’ll occasionally ask our members to pay a little extra to reflect those improvements, which in turn helps drive the positive flywheel of additional investment to further improve and grow our service.”

Netflix reported its third consecutive quarter of accelerating subscriber growth in the final three months of 2023, closing out a comeback year that included a crackdown on viewers freeloading on the video-streaming service and a smattering of price hikes. The Los Gatos, California, company added 13.1 million worldwide subscribers during the October-December period, well above analyst projections, according to FactSet Research.

Still, more and more customers are canceling their streaming subscriptions. Citing Antenna, a subscription analytics provider, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that customer cancellations across the major streaming platforms rose to 6.3% in November 2023, up from 5.1% in November 2022.

If you have Netflix or any other streaming service, it’s not hard to understand why. In addition to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, Paramount+, Hulu, Max (previously HBO Max), Disney+, and Apple TV+ have all seen price hikes over the last year amid “streamflation.” 

If you had the cheapest option of each (some platforms offer tiered subscriptions), you’d be spending about $64 a month, or more than $767 a year. It’s worth noting this may vary if your subscription is available through a third party, like your cellphone provider, or if you’re taking advantage of student discounts, for example.

Service Lowest Monthly Plan Price
Netflix $6.99
Amazon Prime Video $8.99
Peacock $5.99
Paramount+ $5.99
Hulu $7.99
Max $9.99
Disney+ $7.99
Apple TV+ $9.99
Prices updated as of Jan. 23, 2024.

Netflix isn’t the first streaming service to jump into the live sports segment. Hulu, Peacock, Max, Amazon, and Apple have already carried various sporting events live.

In November, Netflix had its first-ever live sports event when F1 athletes from its hit series, “Drive to Survive” and golfers from its “Full Swing” series participated in “The Netflix Cup,” a match-play tournament at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas.

That was among the streaming service’s first live events.

In April, apparent technical issues delayed the airing of its “Love Is Blind: The Live Reunion.” Instead of airing live, Netflix filmed the special and made it available to stream the next day. That was Netflix’s second live event after it aired Chris Rock’s comedy special, “Selective Outrage,” a month earlier without any widely reported issues.

While Netflix isn’t raising its subscription prices as of Tuesday, the company still could in order to “invest in and improve” in itself.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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