WWE lays smackdown on CES, reveals Netflix-like WWE Network

wwe lays smackdown ces announces subscription based network screen shot 2014 01 08 at 9 13 32 pm

Do you smell what the WWE is cooking? (For all the wresting fans, I’m sorry that’s the recent reference I can muster.) The World Wrestling Entertainment took the CES 2014 stage by storm to announce it’s long-awaited, oft-delayed WWE Network. The subscription channel will be available on just about every connected device you can imagine.

For $10 a month, subscribers will get to watch 12 monthly pay-per-view specials and 100,000 hours of video-on-demand content. Included in that huge library is every previous pay-per-view event from the WWE, WCW, and ECW. Original programming will also accompany the long list of classics available. The WWE announced an original called Legends House. The show will feature eight former stars all in the same house, probably yelling and hitting one another with various objects. 

And as far as access goes, you’ll be able to watch from just about anything. Subscribers can access the content from desktops and laptops; the WWE app for iOS, Android, and the Kindle Fire; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and 4; and Roku devices.

Whatever you may think about wrestling, the WWE Network is a huge accomplishment. It’s the first Netflix-like network with live and on demand programming, and the WWE is pretty sure it can be successful. The company estimates it will need about 800,000 subscribers to break even on the experiment, or else it may have to tap out. Judging by the nearly 100,000 that were tuned in to the WWE’s Youtube stream for the event, there’s an excited audience that is likely willing to jump in on the service.

Vince McMahon announced the service by saying “Today is a great day to be a fan,” and from a pure money standpoint, that appears to be the case. As opposed to paying the usual $45 that a pay-per-view special would normally run, fans can catch every event for that $10 a month fee. But, this could lead to more purchases in the long run–with a more affordable price, there’s less likely to be large groups watching the event on one screen to save on cash when they can watch on their own devices any time they want. 

The WWE Network will be available in the United States to start, but will make its way into other countries over the course of the year. 

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