It’s official – WWE Network was announced tonight at a Consumer Electronics Show press conference in Las Vegas!
Launching next month on February 24th immediately following Monday Night Raw, WWE Network will be a subscription service with a price tag of $9.99 per month.
The first pay-per-view to air live on WWE Network will be WrestleMania 30 this April. In this article we run down the major details now revealed.
WWE Network is streaming based and acts both as a 24/7 “always on” linear network, in addition to an on-demand video library.
|24/7 Linear Network|
All 12 WWE pay-per-event events through the year will air live on WWE Network (which includes WrestleMania at no additional charge).
Joining the PPVs will be lots of other content including the likes of a live daily studio show, live pre/post-shows for Raw and Smackdown, original/reality series’ (e.g. “Legends House” and “Monday Night War”), and traditional in-ring shows (e.g. NXT, Superstars).
Perhaps the area we were most interested in. WWE will be putting their vast video library (stated to be 100,000+ hours in total) to good use with the Network.
Every single WWE/WCW/ECW pay-per-view event in history will be available to stream on-demand from launch. There will exist an archive of selected classic Raw and Smackdown episodes too. It has been stated that more of this legacy content will added on a monthly basis. In tonight’s press conference one spokesperson was quoted as saying the “entire WWE Home Video library” will be available to watch on the service.
For desktops/laptops WWE Network will be accessed via the WWE.com website.
On mobile devices it will be distributed via the WWE app through such platforms as iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Xbox, PS3(4) and Roku.
It was also announced that the Network will later be available on Xbox One and Smart TVs.
As mentioned, WWE Network is to launch on Monday, February 24th and this date is for the domestic United States market. However, an overseas launch is “expected”, such as in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia by late 2014 to early 2015.
Several documentary style shows have been announced with sneak peek preview clips.
These include “WWE Countdown” slated to be a 1 hour show about topics ranked by viewer votes and discussion, such as top catchphrases, best entrances, greatest managers, and more. There’s also “WrestleMania Rewind” and “Monday Night War: Raw vs. Nitro”.
|DVDs & Blu-rays?|
Naturally, given the nature of tonight’s event, no announcements have been made about WWE DVD and Blu-ray plans moving forward – but we do know they are set to continue.
We speculate that while there is still a market for physical media WWE will continue to entice fans to buy the DVDs by offering exclusive content on them. For instance, if a Daniel Bryan documentary is being made in 2014 the company could sell it exclusively on DVD/Blu-ray, or at least for a certain time period, holding off a Network offering until a later date.
It would be great to hear your early reactions to WWE Network and thoughts on the future impact on WWE DVD releases, so be sure to leave a comment below!