WWE will launch streaming network in February

By Daniel S Levine,

Vince McMahon finally announced his World Wrestling Entertainment’s dedicated network of programming, but it will be very different from a traditional cable network. Instead, McMahon is fully embracing 21st century technology by launching an over the top streaming network. The plans were unveiled Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The WWE Network will launch in February and will include 12 WWE pay-per-view events for $9.99 a month, but subscribers will have to commit to six months, reports TheWrap. It will also include 1,500 hours of on demand video available at launch. That includes documentaries, classic matches and other programming.

This has been years in the making. The LA Times reports that the company has been looking into launching its own network for at least five years and thought of doing a traditional pay-cable network like HBO. Filings show that WWE has spent $40 million on the venture. Ultimately, though, McMahon said that he found traditional means of distribution “too restrictive.”

McMahon decided to model the network after Netflix, noting, “Our fans are early adopters of new technologies.”

However, he’s not completely abandoning the traditional pay-per-view model. Specials usually go for $55 and Wrestlemania is $70 for fans, with WWE and the distributors splitting that 50-50.

The WWE Network will launch on Feb. 24 and will be available on Amazon Kindle devices, Playstation, XBox One, some Smart TVs and other streaming devices.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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