World Wrestling Entertainment is taking the next step in its evolution, announcing plans today to launch a 24-hour subscription television network that will provide fans with around-the-clock wrestling action.
The new WWE Network will debut on February 24 as a streaming service, available for $9.99 per month with a six-month commitment.
The subscription will include all of WWE's scheduled pay-per-view events, making it a sharp discount for anyone who previously purchased monthly events for upwards of $50-$60 each. The company will take a slight financial loss upfront, but expects to break even by the time it reaches one-million subscribers. The lost revenue is made somewhat less significant than it sounds for WWE as cable companies have traditionally taken a large cut of the proceeds from those PPV events.
"WWE Network will provide transformative growth for our company and unprecedented value for our fans," the company's CEO, Vince McMahon, told reporters on Wednesday.
One original show that was teased is to be called "WWE Legends' House" and will feature eight of the league's "legends" living together in a house. Ten episodes have already been filmed.
The new channel was constructed with the assistance of Major League Baseball:
The network was built with the help of MLB Advanced Media, creators of the popular MLB At Bat service for watching professional baseball. WWE approached MLB about six months ago to ask for help building the service, said Bob Bowman, president of MLB Advanced Media, during the event.
Rather than seek a traditional cable distribution deal, the video streaming model will allow WWE Network to tap into a core base of rapid wrestling fans who are willing to pay almost any price for their passion.
The network will be available via a variety of Smart TV and instant streaming platforms, including Playstation, Xbox and Roku.
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