WWE officially announced the launch of their Network yesterday night in Las Vegas – it will go online on February 24th. For $9.99 a month fans can have live and on-demand access to every single WWE PPV (including past and present Wrestlemanias), as well as original content (such as Legend’s House, RAW post shows) and an archive that includes the full Monday Night Wars, ECW library and much much more.
Flagship shows RAW and SmackDown will remain on Cable, and you’ll still be able to buy PPVs the traditional way.
WWE are hyping that the service goes “over the top”, meaning WWE themselves are providing what is essentially an internet streaming platform that can be accessed on PCs, Laptops, Smart Phones, Games Consoles, Tablets and other devices. You can either tune in to the live stream, or go straight to the on-demand library. Shows are archived in real-time meaning if you’re 30 minutes late for a PPV you can start from the beginning.
As Michael Cole eloquently explains, all you need to do is register a WWE.com profile, enter your card details and you’re set. Though it’s technically $9.99 a month, you will have to commit to 6 months, at $59.94.
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, though tech savvy fans will most likely be able to use pre-paid credit cards and VPNs with US IP addresses to get the US version. I myself will be testing this route.
Jim Ross discussed the network in his latest JRSBARBQ.com blog:
“One major key to the success of this Network is the development of NEW programming as it cannot be only about the old, tape libraries. I can see live, interactive programming being produced on a daily basis which, if true, then it provides several talents with opportunities to contribute to the brand and the network.”
“The other key to the network’s success is the airing of ALL the PPV’s live. Right now, WrestleMania is the most, ‘must see’ PPV in WWE and some might argue it is the only “must see’ PPV in WWE. That point is arguable and is dependent upon the attraction.
“Being able to see WWE PPV’s, original programming that’s exclusive to the network, and the organized and systematic airing of the episodically produced, wrestling territory shows are among the elements that it will necessitate to make the WWE Network a hit.”