We don’t talk about pro wrestling a whole lot here on Nerd Bastards because, well, wrestling. The sports entertainment devision of jumps, bumps and spandex have just done something worth noting. Something that may change online entertainment as we know it.
At CES, WWE just announced the WWE Network – an online network with 24/7 live-streaming programming and on-demand archival content, including – at launch – every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view show ever. It’s basically their own dedicated version of Netflix.
Say no more to $60/month pay-per-view events. They’re included in the price. Which is $9.99 a month (minimum 6-month commitment).
I don’t watch wrestling much, if at all, but I can see what a sweet deal this is for fans. The amount of money it’s going to save customers is astounding, and the amount of material their promising is pretty wide. It’s a good deal for WWE too. So many people steal WWE PPVS, I am guessing they will make that money back in so many subscriptions.
Here’s the thing, if this takes off, how will other Networks respond? Will the heavy hitters of TV – NBC, ABC, FOX – offer their own paid streaming stations? We’re fortunate enough to be able to watch countless hours of shows and television programs on Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, but can you imagine the programming available to us if networks gave us access to most of their entire programming library? Would people pay $10 per Network for virtually unlimited content? Of course they would! People have been wanting to pay for individual channels for years but the cable companies give us no choice but to adhere to their package deals and make us pay for channels we don’t want. I doubt Networks would offer such services, as it wouldn’t make Cable companies too happy and would break the ties that bind. Still, it seems feasible. I think we’re on the cusp of an exciting time in online streaming. Leave it to wrestling.
Feb 24th, 11:09 EST (right after Raw) is when WWE Network goes online, making WrestleMania 30 the first pay-per-view to air on it.