The WWE finally unveiled the details of its new WWE Network Wednesday during a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
A lot of information was divulged during the hour-long presentation, so let’s get right to it:
- The network will launch on Feb. 24 after Raw at 11:06 p.m. ET. Fans can subscribe for the network at 9 a.m. Feb. 24.
- WWE is taking an over-the-top approach to the network, as it will be a 24/7 streaming service that will include live content as well as on-demand content. The slogan for the network is “It’s way over the top.”
- The service will cost $9.99 per month with a six-month commitment right off the bat.
- For that price, the network will include all 12 WWE pay-per-views, including WrestleMania at no extra charge, pre- and post-shows for Raw and Smackdown, encore presentations of Raw and Smackdown, original content such as reality shows and a daily studio show. Other WWE programming will be on the network as well such as NXT.
- Along with the current content will be the inclusion of an expansive video library that will boast every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view ever (more than 300) and past episodes of Raw and Smackdown. There will also be a “vault” option, which will give you access to WWE’s entire home video collection and various videos from WCW and ECW.
- Amongst the original content will be "Legends’ House", a reality show based around a bunch of WWE legends living under one roof; "WrestleMania Rewind", an extensive look back at great WrestleMania moments of the past; "WWE Countdown", a one-hour show that will provide a new top-10 list; and "Monday Night War", a show depicting the battle between WWE and WCW over supremacy of the wrestling industry during the mid-1990s.
- The network, with all of that content included, will be available through the WWE App on laptop and desktop computers, iOS mobile and tablet devices, Android mobile and tablet devices, Kindle Fire, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and 4, and Roku devices. WWE announced that by early summer, the Network would be available on Xbox One and smart televisions.
- By the end of this year or early 2015, the network will be available in at least 10 countries.
- All of the content will be shown live and streamed at 720p high definition quality.
- In case you missed something on a live stream, you can go back and start it from the beginning.
- The first pay-per-view that will air on the network WrestleMania XXX April 6.
- Parental controls will be available for content that is rated TV-14 or TV-MA, according to Dan Gelston of the Associated Press.
As for the presentation itself, the production was top-notch. WWE had it’s own press conference in it’s auditorium like Microsoft and Sony does at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
The presentation started off with Michael Cole, who was introduced as the “voice of the WWE.” Cole then welcomed WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon who touted how great WWE was and led us into a video package that told everyone watching essentially how great WWE was as well.
After the video, McMahon officially announced the network. He then brought out WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Michelle D. Wilson. Wilson unveiled a lot of the major details about the network, including its price.
Wilson then led into WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, who gave people examples of some of the original content can expect to see from the network, including "Legends’ House."
This led to her bringing out Degeneration-X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels), who tried some humorous bits. The duo helped announce "WrestleMania Rewind" and "Monday Night War" before bringing out “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Austin talked about how far the WWE has come and that he could have never envisioned it. He then cut a cleaned-up version of a “Stone Cold” promo, which led into WWE Executive Vice President of Digital Media Perkins Miller.
Miller provided a quick walkthrough of the network, including how people could purchase and operate it.
Miller then froze up in an attempt to make fun of movie producer Michael Bay, which gave DX another attempt to inject some humor.
The President and CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media Bob Bowman came out and gave high praise to Vince McMahon and the WWE. WWE is working with the MLB on the live streaming aspect of the network.
John Cena then came out and announced the launch date of the network. He also provided a countdown clock, which brought back memories of the WWE debut of Chris Jericho.
From there, Cole came back out and wrapped up the presentation.
My thought on the network is that it is a tremendous value for the amount of content that will be at the tips of people’s fingers. Not only are you getting all of ton of content from the video library, but people will also get every WWE pay-per-view at no extra charge. Not to mention the original programming that will come along with that.
All of that for $9.99 per month looks to be an absolute steal, in my opinion. Granted, the price point is with a six-month commitment, but that’s still only $60.00 (give or take some tax) for six pay-per-views, which costs nearly $60.00 per month. Did I forget to mention all of the other content people would receive along with that?
Something to keep an eye on is how good the streaming quality will be. There were numerous reports of the stream WrestleMania XXIX on WWE’s website failing multiple times last year. That explains the reason for the company working with the MLB.
A big test for that will be WrestleMania XXX, which is sure to have a number of subscribers watching from the network. Will it be able to handle the number of people that could be potentially watching that night?
Time will tell, but for now, the WWE Network looks to be home run for WWE.