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Nuts And Bolts Of The WWE Network

WWE NetworkOn Wednesday night, the heavily advertised WWE “Ground Breaking” announcement centered on their new online offering, the WWE Network. The network was originally heavily rumored to be a cable network that would be part of a cable tier much like HBO or Showtime. In order to entice subscribers, all PPVs except WrestleMania would be free on the network.

Since then, the rumor changed to an all-access online network with an vault of historical content and original programming such as Legends House. PPVs were also part of the deal, but it was rumored that WrestleMania 30 would be free as well with a six month commitment. It seemed like a steal.

So was it?

Vince McMahon announced the unveiling of the network and just about all of the online network rumors were true to form.

What You Get For Your $9.99

For their streaming 24/7 service, you will get:
– All 12 PPVs including WrestleMania
– Original programming like NXT, WrestleMania Rewind and Countdown (an interactive show of lists), in-studio shows, documentaries, and reality shows like Legends House
– Live pre-game and post-game Raw and Smackdown show (which means Smackdown may be live soon) as well as the same for PPVs

For their video-on-demand service:
– All historical WWE, WCW, and ECW PPVs.
– Replay showings of Raw, Smackdown, and Main Event
– Vaguely termed “classic matches”

When Will It Be Available?

It launches on Monday, February 24th with a Raw post-game show and will be free for one week. After that, it’s a six month commitment. That is the day after Elimination Chamber, the last PPV of the current model that won’t be available for streaming on the network.

Which Devices Will You Be Able To Use To Access?

– Your computers obviously via WWE.com
– Via your WWE App on the following devices: Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices, Android devices, iOS devices such as Apple iPad and iPhone, Roku streaming devices, PS3 and PS4, and Xbox 360

And you have to imagine they’ll be able to keep up with new technologies like smart TVs as well as the Apple TV.

What Is The Picture Quality?

It will be in 720p HD.

Will You Be Able To Trust The Live Streaming?

While no live streaming is 100% problem-free, I think they have a good solution here. They’ve paired up with MLB Advanced Media which has been in the streaming and online video service game for quite a while now. They don’t only serve up video for the MLB online service, they also distribute all of ESPN’s online video.

I don’t know that they could’ve done any better.

When Will It Be Available For International Markets?

This is what WWE says:

WWE Network is scheduled to launch in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordics by the end of 2014/early 2015.

How Will You Be Billed?

You will be billed monthly, but in commitments of six months. There is no one-month at a time commitment.

What Did They Miss?

Well, not much. Compared to UFC’s new Fight Pass, this is the ice cream to their horse manure. But there are some things missing.

– I didn’t see anything about old NWA, AWA, World Class, or other old territory footage that they currently own. Maybe they haven’t fully digitized it all yet. Or maybe, they want to hold content back that they could use to entice in future marketing campaigns.

– I also didn’t see anything about VODs of old Raw, Smackdown, Nitro, and ECW TVs from the 90s and 2000s. It would seem that those shows would be gimmes at the start, but maybe they are saving those as well.

So Does It Seem To Be Worth It?

If they deliver on the PPV streaming end of things, the interfaces are clean and easy to use, and the original programming is half-interesting, to steal a quote from Stone Cold Steve Austin, “Oh hell yeah!”
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2 thoughts on “Nuts And Bolts Of The WWE Network

  1. I wonder if WWE would ever consider buying up some indy libraries. I was especially wondering about Chikara, if they really never do come back then WWE wouldn’t have to worry about them as competition and it probably wouldn’t cost much to buy up the library.

  2. Hey Matt,

    I don’t think there’s any reason to. Maybe there’s an outside chance the ROH library becomes a valuable thing, but I don’t even know if they’d buy the TNA library if TNA went out of business. I’m not sure what is of value for them in the long run.

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