The WWE Network stock price has been plummeting ever since WrestleMania 30 concluded, dropping from a $31.55 high in mid-April all the way down to $20.29 as of today’s closing bell. But how should Vince McMahon and Triple H respond to Wall Street showing a lack of confidence in their business plan?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, although we noted that WWE Network glitches marred the showing of WrestleMania 30, overall we felt the WWE did a good job in comparison to other streaming services. But many fans were upset by Brock Lesnar ending the Undertaker’s streak, and how CM Punk was a no-show (watch the hilarious video of Hitler commenting on WM 30). So the WWE stock began to nosedive after the event was over even though it was the single highest grossing entertainment event ever.
But the WWE Network stock price tanking has nothing to do with Undertaker’s streak or whether the yes movement was happy with Daniel Bryan finally be allowed to win by Triple H. Well… at least not directly. The reason investors pulled their money was because the WWE officially released their numbers for the number of WWE Network subscribers.
While they managed to convince 667,287 people to sign up for a six month commitment, the company had originally planned on having at least one million people signed up by the time WrestleMania 30 rolled around. Now they’re pushing back that prediction until the end of 2014, which is pretty relevant since it’s claimed the one million mark is the break-even point for profitability. Already, analysts from Forbes and other organizations are saying the WWE Network stock price is overpriced, which explains the large sell-off.
So that’s the direct reason the WWE Network stock price went down. The indirect reason, and the main reason that matters most in the long term, is that Triple H and Vince McMahon have not managed to convince fans it’s worth signing up. So what should they do?
I’ve seen some business writers claim that the WWE Network needs more Hulkamania and more moments like what happened between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin (personally, I found that segment disappointing since nothing interesting happened other than verbal blustering). Such articles also recommend the WWE end its 52-week non-stop schedule, overhaul its drug policy, and create a health insurance policy for wrestlers.
While all of that is nice, I doubt it’d convince many fans to sign up for the WWE Network. It did not help that the way Triple H treated the “yes movement” caused even WWE long-timers to declare that the management hated its own fans. They’re also relying on shocking people, but sometimes the decisions seem kind of odd. For example, AJ Lee managed to defend her Divas title at WM 30 only to lose it the next day, which had some fans questioning whether CM Punk’s disappearance caused Triple H to punish his fiancee.
Really, it’s the creative writing team that needs to get up to snuff. Except for the way the Undertaker streak ended, which we thought could have been much better, my co-workers were able to predict the results of every match and even how the individual actions would play out during the matches. We were hoping John Cena might finally become a heel by smacking Bray Wyatt with that chair, but instead it ended in predictable fashion.
Part of the problem is that the WWE Network literally has no major competition now that they’ve absorbed most of the smaller companies. Many fans complain that stories involving rivalries seem to change up so fast that we all get whiplash. Other fans also complain about the WWE PG era, which could be fixed simply by promoting specific attitude era events only available on the WWE Network streaming service.
In the end, the only way the authority will convince fans to sign up for the WWE Network is by making it something special, not just a streaming service that also gives access to PPV events and older matches (even then Hulu Plus is faster to show recent RAW matches). What do you think Triple H and Vince McMahon should change in order to make the service worthwhile?