As a kid and even into my early twenties I was a huge wrestling fan. However, through the years I became less of a fan of wrestling, and more of a fan of the wrestling business. What they (WWE) produce as a company is amazing. They have the longest running live television show in history, WWE Monday Night Raw. Watch just one broadcast and you’ll see an amazing production full of lights, sound, pyrotechnics, elaborate set designs, crazy characters, some incredible displays of athleticism, video production, and a ton more. And to top it all off, it happens live from a difference city each week and on a strict time schedule. It’s a pretty amazing production.
With all that said, in my opinion the WWE is making history by changing the way our homes will receive television in the future. Today, WWE launches the WWE Network. The WWE Network is a subscription service that will stream archived content, shows produced for the network, and all WWE pay-per-views live at no extra cost. So why is this so ground breaking?
About four years ago Jen and I cut the chord on cable and satellite in our home, and began streaming all of our content from online sources. Some are well known like Hulu and Netflix, some are not. I made the prediction that in the next ten years the way we receive media into our homes would change. Slowly it has. Cable and satellite providers are scrambling to stay relevant as more and more people are cutting the chord. This is the reason the WWE Network is so interesting to me. Here’s how it works:
WWE is charging $9.99 per month for access to their content. You download their app for your mobile devices, smart TV’s, TV streaming boxes, or watch on your computer. Live programming and on demand programming will both be available. And the most ground breaking aspect is the live pay-per-views at no extra cost. WWE produces 12 pay-per-views per year with the average price around $54.99 for the HD broadcast. Now, for just $120.00 a year you can see all 12, a value of $659.88 not even counting all the other network content. Why would they do this? They believe they will make even more from subscriptions at the loss of pay-per-view purchases. Why does this matter to us?
I believe that as media consumption continues to evolve, we will see other networks follow in the footsteps of WWE. You can already access network content through Hulu and even network apps, but it’s still limited and treated as an experiment. I predict the day we pay networks directly to access their content and satellite and cable will be a thing of the past. Currently you have to choose the satellite or cable package that includes the networks you want and pay a higher cost because of all the other networks that come with it. I believe in the future you will pay a lower price to choose networks that you want one by one. I think WWE has taken the first step in what the future of television looks like. And for nerds like me it’s fun to watch.
For more information on the WWE Network click here. They are now offering a seven day free trial.
What do you think about it?