“Today is a historic day for WWE as we transform and reimagine how we deliver our premium live content and 24/7 programming directly to our fans around the world. WWE Network will provide transformative growth for our company and unprecedented value for our fans.”
– Vince McMahon
First announced in September 2011, the WWE Network is now finally a reality. After an originally-planned launch date of April 1 2012 came and went without so much of an explanation of the delay, the long-gestating 24/7 service is now finally coming. On February 24 2014 WWE say they will forever change wrestling. WWE say this will be “groundbreaking”. Are WWE right? To quote the man many view as the company’s biggest superstar of all-time;
Oh Hell Yeah!
Let’s make no mistake; this looks like an amazing deal. For a charge of $9.99 a month, WWE will give subscriber full access to all twelve pay-per view events – including WrestleMania – as well as episodes of Raw, Smackdown, NXT, Main Event and Superstars. It should be noted that the $9.99 price tag comes with a requirement of a six month commitment, and that timeframe is very deliberate; you sign up for the service on launch, with WrestleMania 30 the first PPV to be shown on the Network, and are required to make the decision to re-commit right before SummerSlam. Very clever.
But considering what is on offer, there would appear to be no reason not to re-commit. A 12-month subscription would set American viewers back just short of $120 a year, and for that you get 12 PPVs – valued at more than $600 over 12 months. That alone should get a whole load of subscribers. Throw in the aforementioned TV shows, plus original content such as the intriguing-sounding Legends House – which will see WWE Hall of Famers such as Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hacksaw Jim Duggan living together, Big Brother-style – and The Monday Night War, a series looking as the infamous mid-90’s war between WWF/WWE and WCW. To get all of that, plus a lot more, for $9.99 a month is extraordinary.
WWE have hit a home run with this one, no doubt about it. Hardcore WWE fans will sign up immediately, casual WWE fans will be drawn to the amount of content on offer – whenever they want it – for such a low cost, and old fans maybe disenchanted by today’s product will be attracted by the amount of old footage on offer. Old WCW and ECW shows? Yep, you got it.
And in today’s world of people wanting things when they want, wherever they want, the WWE Network being available on WWE.com on PCs and laptops, iOS and Android devices, as well as Kindle Fire, select Smart TVs, PlayStation 3 and 4, and Xbox 360 (with Xbox One coming later in the year), guarantees an outlet for everyone. At home, on the move, at work or school, you can get it wherever you want, whenever you want. Another selling point for the Network.
Bottom line, WWE have delivered with the Network. More content than you’ll ever have time to watch, all 12 PPVs, all TV shows, new programming, what more could a WWE fan want?