For years now we’ve been hearing rumblings about the WWE Network. Would it be a cable channel? Would it be a streaming service? We finally have the details about the network, what it’s going to be, when it will launch and from a wrestling fan’s perspective… how damn awesome it will be!
WWE Network will be a 24/7 streaming network which will include original content, archive content from WWE, WCW, AWA, ECW (and others), RAW and SmackDown pre-shows and ALL 12 PAY-PER-VIEW EVENTS!
Starting on 2.24.2014, users will be able to purchase a monthly subscription to the WWE Network for only $9.99 / month with a 6 month commitment.
So What’s The Catch?
Honestly, I’m not seeing one. This seems like an absolute no brainer. I normally purchase 2 PPVs a year: The Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. The Rumble (and I think all other PPVs other than WrestleMania) are $49.99 for the HD version of the show. The HD version of WrestleMania is $64.95. So in previous years I’m spending $115 on WWE programming. For $5 more, I can watch all 12 PPVs plus all the archive content and everything else the network will be offering. To take a word from my 5 year old… “Duh”.
There have been rumblings that some satellite providers (DirecTV) are planning on dropping WWE PPV events. I don’t know all of what goes into offering a PPV, but in my uninformed opinion this would be pretty stupid. Even if providers such a DirecTV, DISH, etc. will see decreases in PPV revenue with the launch of the WWE Network, which let’s face it WILL happen, they’re still able to print money based on Vince McMahon’s empire.
I honestly think Vince has once again changed the entertainment business and it will only be a matter of time before we see similar treatment for major sports. Sure… we’ve already got the NFL Network, but I’m envisioning a time where you’ll be able to purchase a package to watch all of your favorite teams right on your device. The technology is there, WWE is going to perfect it and everyone else is going to jump on board.
When To Get It
It’ll be available on 2.24.2104 which means the first PPV that you’ll be able to watch on the WWE Network will be WrestleMania XXX. This scares me a bit as there are bound to be glitches. I’d hate to NOT be able to watch the show so in all likelihood I’ll not only sign up for the Network, but ALSO purchase the PPV through DISH. And naturally this is what the WWE wants. So now instead of my normal $115, I’ll be paying $235 this year. I think it’s a small price to pay for the security of knowing that I’ll be able to watch the show and build The Beeramid without any interruption.
However… I’m guessing by the time WrestleMania 31 rolls around, they’ll have ironed out any technical glitches with the WWE Network and I’ll be watching all the PPVs in HD glory via my Apple TV.
All jokes about being a “rasslin fan” aside, this network is going to be huge. Whether you like wrestling or not, you’ve got to stand back in awe at the BUSINESS Vince McMahon has built. He’s once again on the cutting edge of technology and while it’s super irritating to hear the announcers talk constantly about the WWE App, Vince and his folks know that there has been a fundamental shift in the way we get our news and entertainment these days. And the WWE is leading the way.