WWE Set To Launch Own 24/7 Network In February - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

WWE Set To Launch Own 24/7 Network In February

Posted: Updated:

By DAN GELSTON

AP Sports Writer

WWE is moving outside the ring to mesh the best of Hulk Hogan, The Rock and John Cena all in one place - its own network.

It's time to lay the smack down 24/7.

The WWE Network launches Feb. 24 as a streaming service for $9.99 per month with a six-month commitment and will include all 12 pay-per-view events.

The network is available on desktops and laptops via WWE.com. WWE Network will also be available through the WWE App on: Amazon's Kindle Fire devices; Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy; iOS devices such as Apple iPad and iPhone; Roku streaming devices; PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4; and Xbox 360.

"WWE Network will provide transformative growth for our company and unprecedented value for our fans," WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said Wednesday.

WWE joins the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB as the latest sports-based organization that has its own around-the-clock network. The network will air original content, including pregame and postgame shows for its flagship "Raw" on Monday nights, classic events, reality shows, documentaries and other forms of smashmouth programming. The on-demand content is the main selling point for an older audience looking to reconnect with the product.

"We believe that is the future," WWE chief revenue and marketing officer Michelle Wilson said.

Fans can relive matches from the Attitude Era or simply catch up on today's franchise players like Daniel Bryan and C.M. Punk.

From their own home or parts unknown, WWE believes it has the loyal fan base needed to support the project.

Up against the BCS national championship game, Monday's "Raw" averaged a sturdy 4.537 million viewers on USA Network for the three-hour show.

WWE has aired some of its biggest events on PPV dating to The Wrestling Classic on Nov. 7, 1985. WWE's signature WrestleMania show in April drew 1,039,000 buys on pay-per-view, though numbers for the other 11 cards are nowhere near that gaudy number, in part because of the steep price.

The Royal Rumble on Jan. 26 goes for about $50 on PPV.

George Barrios, WWE's chief strategy and financial officer, said about 800,000 to 1 million homes buy an average of two to three PPVs a year. About 1 million subscribers would allow the network to break even. Barrios said research showed "it's within the realm of possibility" that WWE could have between 2 million and 4 million subscribers.

WWE said it planned to hold the price at $9.99 even after the initial six-month commitment.

The PPVs are still available in their current format through cable or satellite providers.

"I'm just not convinced the pay-per-view platform is in it for the long term," Wilson said. "It's not the best consumer experience."

"Raw" and "Smackdown" will remain on cable television. "RAW" airs on USA Network and "Friday Night Smackdown" is on SyFy. WWE's TV rights will soon be up for grabs and new deals are expected to be in place by March 4. Encores of those shows, however, will air on the network.

WWE has teased its fans with a network announcement since promotional spots aired in 2011, but nothing ever happened until now, though some programming aired on Hulu and Netflix. Wilson said WWE considered running on an ad-supported network station or as a premium pay channel in a model like HBO before deciding the economic and distribution package it wanted was best suited as a streaming network.

"Most people don't think fond things of cable or satellite providers," Wilson said. "We think we can overdeliver like we always have."

More than 1,500 hours of archived programming, that includes the WCW and ECW video libraries, will air uncut and uncensored, so references to the World Wrestling Federation, old logos, or matches involving former wrestler Chris Benoit or former announcer Jesse Ventura will no longer be scrubbed from history.

Parental controls for content rated TV-14 or TV-MA will be available.

Fans can subscribe to the network at 9 a.m. Feb. 24 and live programming begins at 11:06 p.m. with a 30-minute "Raw" postgame show. WWE collaborated with MLB Advanced Media to for technology services, including operational support for reliable cross-platform distribution.

The WWE Network is scheduled to launch abroad by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

"It's going to change the way we do business around the world," Barrios said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Drones get more space to roam over Texas: FAA approves runway for unmanned aircrafts

    Drones get more space to roam over Texas: FAA approves runway for unmanned aircrafts

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:06 AM EDT2014-09-15 14:06:39 GMT
    The skies over South Texas are about to get a lot more crowded after drone researchers at a Texas university were granted more airspace to test and fly their unmanned aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved a new range for the Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center at Texas AM University-Corpus Christi, providing the researchers with around 290 flying days a year over mountains, high deserts, agriculture, coastal and maritime topographies, including the...
    The skies over South Texas are about to get a lot more crowded after drone researchers at a Texas university were granted more airspace to test and fly their unmanned aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved a new range for the Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center at Texas AM University-Corpus Christi, providing the researchers with around 290 flying days a year over mountains, high deserts, agriculture, coastal and maritime topographies, including the...
  • Kids' poisonings linked to anti-addiction medicine

    Kids' poisonings linked to anti-addiction medicine

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:31 AM EDT2014-09-15 13:31:20 GMT
    CHICAGO (AP) -- An anti-addiction drug used to fight the nation's heroin and painkiller abuse epidemics poses a threat to young children who accidentally swallow relatives' prescriptions, a federal study says. Some children have died. The study found that the drug, buprenorphine, was the adult prescription medication most commonly implicated in emergency hospitalizations of children aged 6 and younger. For every 100,000 patients prescribed buprenorphine, 200 young children were hospitalized ...
    CHICAGO (AP) -- An anti-addiction drug used to fight the nation's heroin and painkiller abuse epidemics poses a threat to young children who accidentally swallow relatives' prescriptions, a federal study says. Some children have died. The study found that the drug, buprenorphine, was the adult prescription medication most commonly implicated in emergency hospitalizations of children aged 6 and younger. For every 100,000 patients prescribed buprenorphine, 200 young children were hospitalized ...
  • Ravens fans, men and women, wear Ray Rice jerseys at Thursday night game

    Ravens fans, men and women, wear Ray Rice jerseys at Thursday night game

    Thursday, September 11 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-09-12 03:18:32 GMT
    Music blared from the purple bus, and Baltimore Ravens fan Racquel Bailey stood with drink in hand amid her usual tailgate buddies while making a bold fashion statement: a black, rhinestone-decorated jersey with the white No. 27. A Ray Rice jersey.
    Music blared from the purple bus, and Baltimore Ravens fan Racquel Bailey stood with drink in hand amid her usual tailgate buddies while making a bold fashion statement: a black, rhinestone-decorated jersey with the white No. 27. A Ray Rice jersey.
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices