Vince McMahon, Bill Simmons, and Spotify are going into business together.
McMahon’s WWE and Spotify are poised to announce a deal Wednesday that will include expanded pro wrestling coverage on Simmons’ The Ringer, an original podcast series, and exclusive audio content.
The deal will kick off with fresh content on Aug. 21 at WWE’s “Summer Slam” in Las Vegas.
“As a lifelong WWE fan, I couldn’t be more excited to work with them to take a fresh perspective on their most iconic moments and superstars, and leverage Spotify’s global scale to share content that we believe everyone will enjoy,” said Simmons in a statement.
More details on announcement:
— The Ringer and WWE will collaborate on original podcasts. There will be a narrative series produced by Simmons and another from WWE personality Evan Mack. After every major WWE pay-per-view event, the hosts will go live via Spotify Greenroom.
— The Ringer will also expand its wrestling coverage. “The Masked Man Show” hosted by David Shoemaker and Kaz will be renamed “The Ringer Wrestling Show.”
— WWE and The Ringer will roll out a new audio network as part of a multi-year content partnership. WWE audio programming will become exclusive to Spotify.
— The partners will also collaborate to develop new original audio content for Spotify and The Ringer’s web site.
Simmons has long been interested in wrestling. After splitting with ESPN, he told the story of pro wrestling legend Andre The Giant in a 2019 documentary for HBO Sports.
WWE posted revenue of $974.2 million in 2020, up 1% year-over-year.
Steaming giant Spotify bought The Ringer for nearly $200 million in February 2020. Spotify has grown to 365 million monthly users and 165 million premium subscribers.
“We believe this collaboration will deliver a podcast slate that excites existing fans while also introducing WWE content to the millions of Spotify listeners,” said Nick Khan, the WWE’s president and chief revenue officer.