WWE Network

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WWE Network
Wwenetworktransparent.png
Launched February 24, 2014 (2014-02-24)
United States
August 12, 2014 (2014-08-12)
140 countries
January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13)
United Kingdom and Ireland
Italy
January 7, 2015 (2015-01-07)
Middle East and North Africa TBA
Owned by WWE
Picture format 720p
Slogan It's only $9.99[1]
Language English and SAP
Broadcast area Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States
Headquarters Stamford, Connecticut, United States
Website www.wwenetwork.com
Availability
Satellite
Astro (Malaysia) channel 820 (SD)
channel 840 (HD)
NJOI (Malaysia) channel 820(SD)
IPTV
Singtel TV (Singapore) Channel 127 (HD) (Coming Soon)

WWE Network is a subscription-based video streaming service owned by WWE, using the infrastructure of Major League Baseball Advanced Media.[2] The concept was originally announced in 2011. On January 8, 2014, WWE announced the network would launch on February 24 in the United States. The company stated on July 31 that the service was expected to go live in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Spain, Turkey and the Nordics, among other countries (except for the United Kingdom and Ireland) starting on August 17.[3] It was made available in the UK and Ireland, unexpectedly a week earlier than planned, on January 13, 2015, after a delay from the previous October,[4] and is also expected to arrive in Italy, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Japan, India, China, Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia at a future date.[5] The WWE Network consists of both a 24-hour linear streaming channel and on-demand programming from WWE's library.

History[edit]

In September 2011, WWE officially announced plans to launch the WWE Network in 2012 as a pay-TV channel.[6] WWE then conducted a survey asking people if they would pay for the WWE Network if it were a premium channel. In an email sent to WWE fans who might be interested in the WWE Network, WWE surveyed fans for their thoughts about the WWE Network airing WWE's pay-per-views to subscribers for no additional charge. The survey also noted that feature repeats of Raw and SmackDown, as well as footage from World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), XFL, Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW), American Wrestling Association (AWA) and WWE movies would also make the lineup. Original programming was also noted in the survey.[7][8]

As the result of an online poll, WrestleMania Rewind was chosen as a name for a new WWE Network show on October 17, 2011.[9] The original launch date was set for April 1, 2012, which would have coincided with WrestleMania XXVIII; WWE's official website featured a countdown clock that would have expired on April 1, however the clock was quietly removed, and the network did not launch as advertised.[10] WWE chief marketing officer Michelle Wilson allayed fears about the future of the WWE Network, saying "There will be a WWE network in some shape or form. We are in late-stage negotiations with distributors", and confirmed that WWE Legends' House had been filmed.[11] In April 2013, WWE had switched plans and aimed to release the WWE Network as a premium pay-TV outlet, with a potential price of $15 a month.[12]

On Old School Raw in January 2014, WWE ran teasers promoting an announcement on January 8 at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.[13] It was later confirmed that the announcement would concern the WWE Network.[14] At the Consumer Electronics Show on January 8, WWE revealed a comprehensive plan which would see a launch date of February 24, 2014 in the United States.[15][16][17] WWE Classics on Demand closed on January 31, 2014 to make way for the WWE Network.[18] A free trial period was offered during the week of the launch.[19] The logo initially used for the WWE Network eventually became the standard logo used by the WWE corporation in August 2014.[20]

In April 2014 ahead of WrestleMania XXX, the Network received acclaim, with the New York Times saying that WWE had "positioned themselves on the cutting edge of Internet television".[21] Later that month, the company announced that the network had 667,000 subscribers, short of the one million subscribers they needed to break even.[22] As WWE's stock fell 50% the following month, Forbes described low subscription numbers as being of "additional concern" for investors after WWE's underwhelming NBCUniversal renewal deal.[23] WWE offered a second free preview week of the WWE Network, which started July 7, in an attempt to sign new subscribers.[24] A second report released at the end of July indicated that the network had reached 700,000 subscribers.[25] WWE's goal was to reach one million subscribers by the end of 2014.[25][26]

On July 31, 2014, the company announced a 10-year, Canadian distribution deal for WWE content with Rogers Media which will see the company distribute WWE Network as a premium television service.[27] Also on that date, it was announced that the WWE Network would launch in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Spain and the Nordics, among others on August 12, with Italian, Arab, German, Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Thai and Malaysian launches planned for a later date.[28][29] On October 30, 2014, in an attempt to increase subscription numbers from an announced figure of 731,000, the 6-month subscription requirement was dropped, allowing subscribers the option to cancel at any time.[30][31] WWE had originally planned to launch the network on October 1 in the United Kingdom, but was delayed for a further month.[32] The launch was confirmed to be taking place at 8 p.m. on November 3;[33] however 20 minutes prior to the launch, WWE announced that it had been indefinitely delayed.[34][35] Vince McMahon publicly apologized for the delay.[36] It was announced on January 4, 2015, that the WWE Network would be launching in the UK and Ireland on January 19, 2015, priced at £9.99 and €12.99 respectively,[37] although some customers managed to register as early as January 13.[38]

On January 27, 2015, WWE announced that the WWE Network had reached 1 million subscribers,[39] with Vince McMahon saying that WWE would "remain focused on delivering an outstanding value proposition for ours fans by adding new content and new features in the coming year".[40] On February 12, 2015, WWE announced a five-year partnership with television provider OSN to bring the WWE Network to the Middle East and North Africa as a premium service.[41]

On July 30, 2015, WWE revealed the amount of subscribers for the Network at 1.156 million. This was announced as a part of WWE's financial reporting on the second quarter of the year, which had resulted in their stock price rising past $20.00 after closing on the previous day at $16.48. The total of 1.156 million paid subscribers marks a 13 percent decrease from the 1.315 million paid subscribers that was stated in the reports for the first quarter of 2015. WWE also revealed, including trial subscribers, WWE had 1.227 million Network users at the end of the second quarter, and over the entire lifespan of the Network, there have been over 2 million unique subscribers.[42]

Programming[edit]

Original programming[edit]

Upcoming shows[edit]

Repeat/archival programming[edit]

In addition to previous editions of the original programs listed above:

Although the United States parental guidelines rating system rates most weekly WWE television programs TV-PG, the WWE Network broadcasts a wider range of content. A parental controls block is available and content rated TV-14 and TV-MA are preceded by an advisory warning. The network airs footage featuring Chris Benoit, but an advisory warning is displayed before each airing; it marks the first major airing of Benoit footage or even mention of Benoit in said footage since his murder-suicide in 2007.[49] Over the Edge 1999, infamous for Owen Hart's death at the event, is also available for the first time since its original air date, however some portions of the event have been edited out of respect to the Hart wrestling family.[50] Matches called with Jesse Ventura on commentary, which have previously been dubbed over due to a 1991 lawsuit, air with the original commentary.[46]

While the network promoted on-demand airings as being unedited, some instances of expletives, gestures, and all nudity are censored.[51][52] Some original music has been dubbed over with alternate tracks such as the original intro music to SNME (May 1985 - Jan 1988 episodes) which originally played "Obsession" by Animotion.[53]

At launch, all but one of New Jack's matches were removed from ECW pay-per-views, as was his surprise return at Heat Wave 1998, due to a combination of musical rights issues over his entrance music and the inability to remove the music without losing the original commentary audio. The deleted matches were eventually reinstated with replacement music and newly recorded Joey Styles commentary.[54] Several pay-per-views are copies of their condensed home video releases, rather than the live versions, and so are missing matches.[55]

Compatible Devices[edit]

This is a list of devices that support the WWE Network.

Impact on PPV industry[edit]

In an interview with Time, Michelle D. Wilson, chief revenue and marketing officer for WWE, stated their reason for bypassing cable companies and instead only offering the WWE Network online: "Digital over-the-top offerings represent the future, and given that our passionate fans consume five times more online video content than non-WWE viewers and over-index for purchasing online subscriptions such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, we believe the time is now for a WWE Network".[56]

In response to the announcement, DirecTV issued a statement saying that they are re-evaluating whether to continue carrying WWE's pay-per-view events. Because these events would also be available on the WWE Network once it launches, it might reduce the number of pay-per-view purchases via cable and satellite providers. However, Vince McMahon suggested that pay-TV operators would ultimately decide to continue to carry WWE's pay-per-view events, given that providers keep a significant share of each purchase, and incur minimal costs (apart from WWE's share of the fee for each purchase) to carry the events: "It's found money for them."[57] DirecTV later quietly dropped carriage of WWE PPVs. In response, WWE said, "Yes, DIRECTV has decided to stop offering our PPV's residentially and commercially. The only other option would be to work through the local cable provider." [58]

On February 19, 2014, Dish Network announced that they would carry WWE pay-per-views on an event by event basis, beginning with Elimination Chamber. However, Dish Network later released a statement saying, "Dish will not offer the ‘WWE Elimination Chamber’ PPV on 2/23. WWE is not willing to adjust their PPV costs to satellite and cable companies, which is unfair to their customers. We need to re-focus our efforts to support partners that better serve Dish customers".[59] Dish later made a decision to air WrestleMania XXX,[60] but has not aired a single WWE PPV event since then.

Advertising[edit]

In October 2014, it was reported Mattel, Kmart, and Pepsi would begin advertising on the network starting the week of October 13. Wilson stated that although no commercial breaks will occur during scheduled programming, 30 second adverts would run in between shows, and that one 15 or 30-second advert would be shown prior to every fourth stream for on-demand content.[61] [62]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Caldwell, James (January 8, 2014). "Complete coverage of WWE's announcement from CES in Las Vegas". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2014/2014_8_14.jsp
  3. ^ http://www.wwe.com/wwenetwork/wwe-network-outside-united-states-26533843
  4. ^ http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/542789-major-update-wwe-network-launches-early-in-the-uk-available-now
  5. ^ WWE Network Launches February 24 Retrieved January 25, 2014
  6. ^ Goldman, Eric (September 6, 2011). "WWE Network coming in 2012". IGN. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ Caldwell, James (September 22, 2011). "WWE News: WWE TV Network update – could PPVs move to the Network?, potential new shows". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ Caldwell, James (November 1, 2012). "McMahon announces Network model, but no timetable for launch; latest on Network plans & survey findings". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "'WrestleMania Rewind': The first WWE Network Show". WWE. October 17, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  10. ^ Atkinson, Charlie (March 1, 2012). "WWE smackdown: Its cable network can't get off the mat". New York Post. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Lee, Richard (March 29, 2013). "WWE forging ahead with cable network plan". The News-Times. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ Graser, Marc (April 9, 2013). "WWE Models TV Network Plan After NFL’s Approach". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ Stewart, Josh (January 6, 2014). "Old School Raw hints at new WWE Network". Newsday. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ "WWE Network announcement official". Wrestling Observer. January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  15. ^ Flint, Joe (January 8, 2014). "WWE launching over-the-top network". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  16. ^ Graser, Marc (January 8, 2014). "CES: WWE Network to Launch in February as Streaming Service". Variety. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  17. ^ Vincent, James (January 9, 2014). "WWE unveils new digital media model and non-stop wrestling with 24/7 streaming service". The Independent. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ "WWE Network Coming 2.24.14". Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  19. ^ Hooton, Christopher (February 24, 2014). "WWE Network: Price, schedule and everything else you need to know". The Independent. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  20. ^ "WWE unveils new logo". WWE. August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  21. ^ Berkman, Seth (March 30, 2014). "WWE Network Is Loud Introduction to the Video Streaming Ring". New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ Taube, Aaron (May 19, 2014). "Vince McMahon's Plan To Turn Around The WWE Is Blowing Up In His Face". Business Insider. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  23. ^ Mcgrath, Maggie (May 16, 2014). "WWE Slammed: Stock Plunges Nearly 50% As NBCUniversal Deal Fails To Impress". Forbes. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  24. ^ Taube, Aaron (July 7, 2014). "The Money-Losing WWE Network Is Making Another Big Push For Subscribers". Business Insider. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b Graser, Marc (July 31, 2014). "WWE Network Ready for International Rollout to Pin Down New Subscribers". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  26. ^ "WWE Network on track to 1 million subscribers". WWE Official Website. April 7, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  27. ^ "WWE Signs 10-Year Canadian TV Deal With Rogers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  28. ^ Alvarez, Edgar (July 31, 2014). "WWE Network heading to 170 new countries next month". Engadget. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  29. ^ Baysinger, Tim (August 12, 2014). "WWE Offering OTT Network Internationally". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  30. ^ Graser, Marc (October 30, 2014). "WWE Network Grows to 731,000 Subscribers, Drops Contract Requirement". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  31. ^ Flint, Joe (October 30, 2014). "WWE to Drop Six-Month Commitment for Online Video Subscriptions". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Launch of WWE Network's online service delayed in UK". BBC. October 1, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  33. ^ "WWE Network launches in the UK". Radio Times. November 3, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  34. ^ Rigby, Sam (November 3, 2014). "WWE Network UK launch delayed until further notice". Digital Spy. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  35. ^ Martin, Findlay (November 3, 2014). "WWE Network delayed in the UK again". Power Slam. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  36. ^ Goodacre, Kate; Nissim, Mayer (November 5, 2014). "Vince McMahon sorry for WWE Network UK delay: 'We're working day and night'". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  37. ^ "WWE Network available in UK and Ireland". WWE. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  38. ^ Caldwell, James (January 13, 2014). "WWE Network launches early in U.K. market". PW Torch. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  39. ^ Graser, Mark (January 27, 2014). "WWE Network Reaches 1 Million Subscriber Milestone". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  40. ^ "WWE Network Hits 1 Million Subscribers". Business Wire. January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  41. ^ [1]
  42. ^ [2]
  43. ^ a b c d e f Lieberman, David (January 9, 2014). "WWE Sets February 24 Launch Date For Online Network". Deadline. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  44. ^ WWE Network to Launch Online, Offer Live Raw and SmackDown Post-Shows and All PPVs
  45. ^ http://www.wwe.com/wwenetwork/wwe-network-new-original-series
  46. ^ a b c Gelston, Dan (January 9, 2014). "WWE launching 24/7 network in February". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  47. ^ "Every pay-per-view available on WWE Network". WWE. February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  48. ^ WWE.com Staff (February 15, 2014). ""Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels & Bret "Hit Man" Hart talk WWE Network". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  49. ^ Caldwell, James (January 3, 2014). "WWE NEWS: Ross returns to TV on ESPN, Benoit/WWE Network update, top indie tag team turned down?". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  50. ^ "WWE Faces Difficult Decisions On Network Content". KDKA-TV. February 7, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  51. ^ Johnson, Vaughn (February 26, 2014). "Early impressions of the WWE Network". Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  52. ^ Meltzer, Dave. "MON. UPDATE: WWE network news". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  53. ^ http://www.wrestlingdvdnews.com/music-edits-wwe-network-signature-sounds/61576/
  54. ^ "How WWE Resolved The ECW/New Jack Isue On The WWE Network", F4Wonline.com
  55. ^ "A look at what WWE Network events and shows have been edited", F4WOnline.com
  56. ^ Luckerson, Victor (January 10, 2014). "Holds Barred: Why the WWE Isn't Going to Cable". TIME. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  57. ^ Flint, Joe (January 9, 2014). "DirecTV may sever ties with WWE over new online network". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  58. ^ "WWE NEWS: DirecTV not carrying WWE PPVs, WWE responds". PWTorch. April 14, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  59. ^ "Dish Stops Offering WWE’s PPVs Before New Network Launch". Variety. February 19, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  60. ^ Johnson, Mike. "BIG ABOUT FACE FOR DISH NETWORK AND WWE PPVS, STARTING WITH WRESTLEMANIA". Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  61. ^ Poggi, Jeanine (October 13, 2014). "WWE's Online Network Signs First Advertisers". Advertising Age. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  62. ^ Richards, Katie (October 13, 2014). "Here's Why Pepsi, Mattel and Kmart Are Rushing To Advertise On The WWE's Netflix-For-Wrestling". Business Insider. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]