YouTube has just announced that it will now offer full-length, current episodes of a suite of World Wrestling Entertainment-related programming. The deal includes episodes of Friday Night Smackdown, WWE NXT, WWE Superstars, and ECW. I don’t know what any of those are, but I assume they all involve tights, big hair, and burly guys fighting. You can find all of it on the WWE’s official channel.
This sort of content may not pique the interest of a huge number of TechCrunch readers (I can honestly say I’ve never watched a WWE event in my life) but the deal is significant: this is the one of the first times YouTube has offered so-called “catch-up” primetime programming. Since it began serving full-length episodes last year, YouTube has primarily offered content that was old (in some cases, really old), and it hasn’t been a place people would look to catch an episode of a show they missed the week before. In contrast, recent content has been Hulu’s bread-and-butter, as users log on to catch the episodes they’ve missed. YouTube obviously has a long way to go, but expect to hear about more deals in the near future — I doubt they would have called out the fact that they’re growing their library of catch-up content if it wasn’t the start of a new trend.