It is official! The WWE announced the launch of its own network. Vince McMahon and company told the world that the WWE Network will be coming to a PC or device near you, introducing an era that could change the course of company history.
[adinserter block=”1″]Vince was joined by Triple H, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, and John Cena as he made the big announcement in Las Vegas at CES. Vince opened up his presentation with a snazzy video promoting the entertainment side of the WWE. Surprisingly or not, The Rock was all over that video. It was a slick video for sure.
They announced that this would be the first network to launch with a 24/7 streaming service with a library available on any device. The 24/7 scheduled programming has “never been done before” according to the announcement. I am not sure whether that is true or not but I can’t think of another network that has 24/7 streaming live content.
The price is only $9.99. The network will include every pay per view including WrestleMania at no additional charge. That is huge! WrestleMania for $9.99 a month. Every pay per view including SummerSlam and the Royal Rumble are included. That is a game changer! There was no mention of this being a one-time offering as some have reported. From what I gather WrestleMania and every pay per view will be on the network going forward.
I will say this about WrestleMania. I tried ordering the online stream the last two years and each year the company had major difficulties. The stream was terrible two years ago and last year it crashed entirely. I hope that the company has this figured out because the amount of people watching Mania this year on the network could be close to a million if not more. I can see a potential disaster here unless the technology has drastically changed.
The WWE will no longer have to book television every few weeks pushing pay per views. Fans are already going to get them on the network with few paying extra money to watch them on PPV. This could completely change the way the company is booked. Maybe guys are given more chances to get over without having to worry about drawing a big buyrate? Quite frankly I don’t know why you would even continue producing the shows if you aren’t selling them.
There will also be a live daily studio show (welcome to 2014) as well as a reality show. Every single WWE, WCW, and ECW pay per view will be included in the video on demand library in addition to RAW and SmackDown. There will be over 100,000 hours with content being added monthly. There will also be pre and post RAW and SmackDown shows on the network. What that means is that not every single piece of media will be up immediately.
Stephanie McMahon made a big presentation about WWE NXT coming to the network. It is interesting that the WWE will expose these talents to the masses before they are polished on the main roster. As a fan that is great. As a business I don’t know how wise that is. It could go one of two ways with one being that fans can never shake their memories of seeing these guys raw and green once they get to the main roster. Steph also presented Legends House which is the reality show that has been in the can for a while now with a bunch of legends living together.
One of the cooler programs announced was a WrestleMania Rewind show. It is similar to NFL’s Greatest Games with matches and events presented as a documentary. Hulk Hogan was shown prominently here. The show looks cool and I am surprised the company never did anything like this before with all of the classic matches and events.
Some other network highlights are…
– A Countdown show where fans debate top 10 WWE topics
– WWE vs. WCW Monday Night War
– Total Divas
– The content will be streaming in 720 P.
– A companion screen will integrate with the main stream.
– Subscribers can sign up for reminder texts so they won’t miss upcoming programming.
[adinserter block=”2″]It is a bold move to put all of this content out there for $9.99. Some reports indicate that the company needs 1 million subscribers to make it profitable. That would require around 25% of the RAW audience to buy it. How many RAW viewers buy the B show pay per view events? How many bought WWE Classics? I just don’t see it happening.
It is an exciting time regardless. Unfortunately the losers here are fans like me that like jump on YouTube every once in a while and watch an old Ric Flair promo or Bruiser Brody match. Those will be pulled faster than you can say Miz Sucks. But for $9.99 and unlimited access it may be worth it to subscribe.
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