WWE Network the new digital video subscription service launched by sports entertainment juggernaut WWE, was revealed to have an estimated 667,2871 subscribers in the United States since launched on February 24th. The buy rate was announced in a press released Monday morning and reported by Variety yesterday.
This news is being widely considered positive by the entertainment industry, especially when it's factored in that the Network launched just 43 days ago. According to Bloomberg, Wall Street has mixed optimism about WWE's digital efforts.
It is believed that when factoring in the cost to operate the Network and launch it, the new venture has already become profitable. WWE has publicly stated in the past that it is hopeful it can reach 1 million subscribers for WWE Network by the end of 2014, with hopes of reaching 2 to 3 million subscribers in the coming years. The 1 million mark would allow the company to break even on their investment in the digital platform.
WWE strategically launched the Network across almost every digital video device in correlation with the build to their biggest annual pay-per-view event Wrestlemania which took place this past Sunday. Mania which annually draws around 1 million buys on cable and satellite was offered live on the Network as part of the subscriber’s $9.99 fee with a 6 month commitment. WWE PPV events through cable and satellite TV providers costs between $40-$60 a pop, with Wrestlemania costing around $10 more. This year's WM30 was still available through cable and satellite TV.
It is possible a lot of fans jumped on the Network bandwagon this week to take in the grand spectacle of Wrestlemania XXX which sold out the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday with over 75,000 fans from across the world attending the show. WWE broke the entertainment box office record on Sunday at the Superdome drawing nearly $10.9 million, the fifth consecutive year the event has reached this mark for it’s host venue.
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Pro Wrestling Examiner’s Perspective: Last week on Rumble Radio's WM special, there was a discussion where the panel of wrestling nerds tried to guess around how many subscribers WWE would announced for the Network this week during it’s first few months. And this Examiner went with the high end of 800,000 and the low end would be in the 300,000 range. This number of 670,000 has to be considered positive especially when you consider the service is still growing domestically in the United States and has yet to launch internationally. WWE Network is expected to be available in Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordics in late 2014 and early 2015.