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>>

  • New wristband will shock users if they miss fitness goals

    New wristband will shock users if they miss fitness goals

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:02:43 GMT
    A new wristband design will deliver an electric shock if the wearer does not meet fitness goals. The Pavlok wristband will be designed to track daily performance. According to the company’s website, the Pavlok compels you into keeping workout and fitness goals by using feedback, reinforcement and electric shock. READ MORE: http://pavlok.com/
    A new wristband design will deliver an electric shock if the wearer does not meet fitness goals. The Pavlok wristband will be designed to track daily performance. According to the company’s website, the Pavlok compels you into keeping workout and fitness goals by using feedback, reinforcement and electric shock. READ MORE: http://pavlok.com/
  • 'True Blood' actor Nelsan Ellis: Former star quit because he didn't 'want to play a gay part'

    'True Blood' actor Nelsan Ellis: Former star quit because he didn't 'want to play a gay part'

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:01 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:01:46 GMT
    LOS ANGELES – When Luke Grimes started on HBO’s “True Blood” last season his character James Kent was wooing a female vampire. But Grimes reportedly quit in December when he found out Kent was bisexual and starting a romantic relationship with a gay character in the seventh and final season. Now Nelsan Ellis, the actor who plays Kent’s gay lover on the show, is speaking up -- and he’s not happy. “You quit your job because you don’t want to play a gay part? You make a big statement w...
    LOS ANGELES – When Luke Grimes started on HBO’s “True Blood” last season his character James Kent was wooing a female vampire. But Grimes reportedly quit in December when he found out Kent was bisexual and starting a romantic relationship with a gay character in the seventh and final season. Now Nelsan Ellis, the actor who plays Kent’s gay lover on the show, is speaking up -- and he’s not happy. “You quit your job because you don’t want to play a gay part? You make a big statement w...
  • Puerto Rico declares chikungunya epidemic

    Puerto Rico declares chikungunya epidemic

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:48:06 GMT
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Health officials in Puerto Rico on Thursday declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya, which was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year. Health Secretary Ana Rius said that more than 200 cases had been confirmed on the island as of June 25 and that the majority of them were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas. The first case of chikungunya in the U.S. territory was reported in late May. Also on Thursday, ...
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Health officials in Puerto Rico on Thursday declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya, which was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year. Health Secretary Ana Rius said that more than 200 cases had been confirmed on the island as of June 25 and that the majority of them were reported in the capital of San Juan and nearby areas. The first case of chikungunya in the U.S. territory was reported in late May. Also on Thursday, ...
Powered by WorldNow

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 | Terms of Service | Ad Choices