After the WWE announced their new WWE Network, which will kick off next month, a lot of questions were asked and publications like Forbes and more broke down what this new endeavor means. According to Wrestle View on Jan. 9, the WWE talked about some downside to the announcement, but there is also big news about what this could mean for the future of the WWE.
The biggest downfall, according to the WWE, is that their loss of pay-per-view buys could hurt the traditional cable carriers. Because the WWE is offering their network for only $9.95 a month, and it includes all pay-per-events live and streaming, subscribers will no longer need to order them through cable providers.
This has already caused DirectTV to talk about severing tied with the WWE. According to a statement by DirectTV, they are considering no longer providing their viewers with WWE pay-per-view events, claiming that buys have declined steadily. That is not true, as 2013 was up in pay-per-view buys until the final months of the year.
Vince McMahon responded by saying that it would be "foolish" for DirectTV to cut their ties with the WWE because it makes DirectTV money. Honestly, this just sounds like DirectTV is angry that the WWE chose to go with the streaming system, similar to Netflix, rather than handcuff themselves to the cable providers.
The early estimates is that there will be about 1-2 million subscribers by the end of 2014 and 2-3 million subscribing in the future. According to Forbes, four million homes watched "WWE Monday Night Raw" last week. If every one of those homes subscribed to the WWE Network for $9.95 a month, the WWE would match their revenue from 2012.
This means that the WWE could possibly put "WWE Monday Night Raw" and "Smackdown" on the WWE Network instead of cable television and not lose any money. This puts them in a huge spot since their television contracts end this year. If networks don't bid enough to acquire WWE television, the WWE could just leave cable television. This means that the WWE now has even more leverage since they almost guarantee a network giant ratings and advertising possibilities.
The WWE is also going all out for the launch. One of the big things the WWE did in the Las Vegas WWE Network announcement was introduce the mainstream public to the NXT brand, where the stars of tomorrow wrestle. The first NXT episode following the launch of the WWE Network will broadcast live on the WWE Network.
That show will include Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville in a ladder match for the NXT title and a second match between Sami Zayn (El Generico) vs. Antonio Cesaro.
The WWE Network launches on Feb. 24 immediately following "WWE Monday Night Raw." Sign ups will start during "Raw," so expect some serious WWE.com web congestion if you try to get in from the start.