Digital Revolution: WWE to Launch First-Ever 24/7 Streaming Network
World Wrestling Entertainment announced on Wednesday that it would launch the first-ever 24/7 streaming WWE Network channel on February 24. The sports entertainment franchise collaborated with MLB Advanced Media on the channel.
Many thought WWE would launch the WWE Network on cable television, but WWE opted to go with the digital option. According to WWE, fans will pay $9.99 a month with a 6-month commitment and will gain access to all of WWE's Pay-Per-View events, normally valued at $600 per year. Fans will be able to "subscribe to WWE Network beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on Monday, February 24, at WWE.com, and for a limited time will be offered a free one week trial." Consumers can access the channel on a variety of mobile devices as well.
“Today is a historic day for WWE as we transform and reimagine how we deliver our premium live content and 24/7 programming directly to our fans around the world,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. “WWE Network will provide transformative growth for our company and unprecedented value for our fans.”
WWE Network "will also offer fans a revolutionary second screen experience for all original programming and live events via the WWE App."
The network will create a community among some of the most devoted fans in sports entertainment and expand the footprint for streaming content on the web. WWE's programming, always the most highly rated on cable television, has often created and sustained channels like USA Network.
The WWE Network "will officially launch with the live Monday Night Raw Post-Show on Monday, February 24, at 11:06 p.m. ET, and fans will instantly have access to the most comprehensive WWE video-on-demand library upon signing up."
The network will have pre- and post-event shows every week, exclusive programming including a studio show and will allow viewers to watch all of WWE's Pay-Per-View events, including Wrestlemania, on the digital network.
In addition to live Raw and SmackDown pre- and post-shows every week, new programming including a live studio show and additional on-demand content will be added in the future.
The network will also have plenty of original content, including:
- The Monday Night War — A series exploring the shocking real-life stories that fueled the mid-'90s rivalry between WWE and WCW. Battling for ratings dominance, WWE’s Vince McMahon and WCW’s Ted Turner engaged in a masterful game of one-upmanship, and in the process, elevated WWE Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro to all new levels of pop-culture relevance.
- WrestleMania Rewind — A comprehensive look back at the most groundbreaking matches and dramatic moments in WrestleMania history, including never-before-seen footage and in-depth interviews.
- WWE Countdown — A one-hour, groundbreaking, interactive, countdown series that puts the power squarely in viewers’ hands by giving the audience the chance to discuss and rank WWE’s most spectacular Superstars, unexpected moments, best catch phrases and more through digital polling and social media interaction.
- WWE NXT — WWE Superstars and Divas of tomorrow face off every week on WWE NXT, a one-hour weekly show that features the brightest and best of WWE’s rising stars. WWE NXT showcases the Superstars and Divas from WWE’s Performance Center as well as appearances from WWE Superstars and Legends in an intimate setting. WWE NXT broadcasts from the state-of-the-art Full Sail LIVE venue on the Full Sail University campus in Orlando, Florida.
- WWE Superstars — A one-hour weekly show highlighting the best of WWE Superstars and Divas in heart-pounding matches. Features highlights from all WWE programming, as well as a special glimpse at everything going on in the WWE Universe.
There will also be a reality show "including 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper, Tony Atlas and 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan," and plenty of "Video on Demand" content.