Dish Network and WWE seem to be going through a bit of a problem together. As we all know, WWE launched the WWE Network a month ago. With that, they have decided to show all PPVs LIVE on the network. So for just $9.99 per month, you get all kinds of pro-wrestling content PLUS WWE PPVs.
Really, it’s a Pro-Wrestling fan’s dream. Normal PPVs were anywhere between $45-60. This was a lot of money, especially after buying all WWE PPVs. It was too much to handle for many, which is why WWE made sure to put a lot more effort into what they call, “The Big 4.”
The Big 4 are the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and Survivor Series. They are usually the highest bought, and due to this, WWE knows they need to put the most into them. They knew fans would buy these shows most of all, so it made sense to put a lot of time and effort into them.
WWE realizes that at the end of the day, the fan is the most important. When you have an entire network full of past WWE PPVs, as well as current, the fans are going to eat it up. Financially, they can afford this as well. So not only are you giving a great, affordable product, but you’re also getting the chance to potentially get into more homes over time.
With great things come problems, though. Enter Dish Network.
WWE making it possible to stream LIVE PPVs hurts Dish. Although they carry WWE PPVs, they always did so with the knowledge that their subscribers would buy the shows from them if they wanted to see it. With the WWE Network, they cannot know that. This means PPV buys will go down for Wrestlemania regardless of who carries it.
WWE does not want to negotiate big time with Dish on carrying the PPVs because they realize that they’d lose money more than gain from it. Due to this, Dish has decided to drop all WWE PPVs. This includes the most profitable Pro-Wrestling PPV of the year as well as all-time, Wrestlemania.
In order to do damage control, however, Dish decided to make a statement which put most of the blame on WWE:
“Please note that WWE is not willing to adjust PPV costs to satellite/cable companies, which is unfair to their customers. DISH needs to re-focus efforts to support partners that better serve DISH customers and other satellite/cable companies, including DirecTV, have also expressed they may no longer provide WWE PPV events in the future.”
DirecTV has expressed issues, but they have not dropped WWE PPVs just yet. They always could, of course. Let’s not get too comfortable with them.
Comcast as well as other cable outlets have expressed issues with this from WWE, so obviously WWE will have to do some damage control. Yet, Dish Network is really the only company that has dropped WWE fully.
Dish is well known for playing hardball, so it’s not a shocker that they would drop WWE PPVs. What will be interesting is how WWE fans react to the news. Will this Dish issue make Dish Network subscribers jump to get the WWE Network? Time will tell. It seems, however, that WWE will win this battle. Sorry, Dish.