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DISH Network confirms they are dropping WWE Elimination Chamber, WWE responds

In an ongoing story from earlier this week involving WWE and DISH Network, it was officially confirmed last night by both companies that DISH will not be carrying this Sunday’s live Elimination Chamber pay per view event. It appears that DISH could also cease to carry future WWE pay per view events including Wrestlemania 30, but that has not been confirmed. DISH and other TV partners are said to be upset with WWE over next Monday's launch of the direct-to-consumer digital video service, the WWE Network which will include future pay per view events. The Network will operate independent of traditional television distribution over cable and satellite will work over the internet on multiple media devices.

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon at WWE Network launch event during CES 2014
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

DISH Network made the following statement yesterday to on the issue and confirmed they will not air this Sunday’s PPV and elaborated their perspective on the situation.

WWE has chosen to launch a 24/7 online network, without its TV partners, that includes all of its pay-per-view events. As WWE enters the increasingly fragmented media world by themselves, DISH will continue to consider the value of WWE pay-per-view on an event by event basis. DISH continues to provide a variety of WWE programming, including 'WWE Raw' on USA, 'WWE Smackdown' on Syfy, 'WWE Main Event' on Ion and 'WWE Total Divas" on E!. At this time, WWE pay-per-view events are not available on DISH.

On DISH’s official Facebook the company continued talking about the problem, clarifying their reasoning for dropping WWE events from their PPV roster.

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. Other satellite and cable companies, including DIRECTV, have also expressed they may no longer provide WWE PPV events in the future.

In this same discussion on Facebook, WWE’s official FB posted the following rebuttal to DISH. The following is what WWE posted on the thread.

All of WWE’s cable and satellite partners are providing Elimination Chamber this Sunday, February 23, with the exception of DISH. We are hopeful that DISH will re-consider carrying Elimination Chamber and other Pay-Per-View events in the future, especially WWE WrestleMania 30.

WWE made an official and more detailed statement to various wrestling media outlets last night concerning DISH and their future with content distribution.

WWE is pleased that the majority of our cable and satellite Pay-Per-View distributors are giving our fans an option to purchase traditional Pay-Per-Views as we prepare to launch WWE Network on Monday, February 24. Unfortunately, DISH will not be doing so. We hope DISH will reconsider for this Sunday’s Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View event and especially for WrestleMania 30.

DISH Network is one of the largest satellite TV companies in the United States, serving nearly 14 million homes.

Pro Wrestling Examiner's Perspective: WWE getting on their digital pirate ship with the Network was bound to make waves in the media world, but it is surprising that DISH would strategically choose this time to stick it to the company. Considering that WWE annually has it's highest period of interests during this time of year with Wrestlemania coming up in April, the time of this chess move by DISH is puzzling. This may cause a domino effect with other cable and satellite companies which could effect WWE's bottom line. DISH mentioned fellow satellite TV provider DIRECT TV also being upset over the WWE Network, you can read their damning statements on the WWE Network in January in this article.

Read Examiner's Top 10 must-see past PPV shows from WWE, WCW, and ECW to watch on the WWE Network.

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