With the upcoming launch of the WWE Network, many wrestling fans are wondering if it will be a monumental success or an abysmal failure.
The WWE Network was originally planned to launch on April 1, 2012, the same day as the WWE’s flagship pay-per-view, WrestleMania.
Due to numerous complications, such as finding TV providers and budgetary concerns, the network is was planning to launch in November 2012, but it's been pushed further to mid 2013. There is a huge divide between wrestling fans and members of the Internet wrestling community on whether it will be worth paying a monthly subscription to get the WWE Network, and there is concern about the affordability for the average wrestling fan.
The WWE has sunk a tremendous amount of money into backing this new network, at least a few hundred million dollars, in the hopes that along with the NFL Network, the NHL Network and other subscription-based channels, that it will be a mainstay for wrestling fans that want to see something new on their TV screens. But if the WWE truly wants the new network to be successful and to maintain longevity, once it secures major TV providers that is, a few things need to happen. There has been speculation that the WWE is planning to charge somewhere in the range of $7 to $12 a month for this new channel. The first thing the WWE should do to ensure this network will thrive is provide a monthly rate that the majority of wrestling fans are willing to pay. Most wrestling fans wouldn't pay any more than $7 a month for another wrestling themed channel.
Further, if the WWE plans on continuing with their current channel, Classics on Demand, then having a high subscription fee for the WWE Network will most likely turn fans from the idea of paying for another wrestling-themed specialty channel. But if the WWE offers a reasonable fee for the network, then most wrestling fans would be more apt to add to their current cable subscriptions. The WWE has announced that past footage from the WWE, WCW, ECW, NWA and numerous defunct wrestling promotions will be featured on the upcoming network. The WWE needs to do heavy promotion of the airing of this footage, as it will be a big plus for old and new wrestling fans that want to view classic moments from professional wrestling, and more specifically the WWE.
Another step that the WWE could take to ensure the network’s success is put the secondary monthly events on the network, and continue to air the four original big events on pay-per-view. This would be another incentive for wrestling fans to subscribe to the network. Most wrestling fans have been voicing their concerns for years about the number of events throughout the year, and how costs have elevated, so by putting eight of the 12 events on this new network, subscriptions will surely skyrocket.
These are but a few things the WWE could do to ensure that the new network will thrive and maintain long-term viewership. Once the network launches, it will be very interesting to see how well it does, and if it will indeed flourish, or crash and burn.
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