The WWE Network isn’t even six months old, and already it’s taken a wave of criticism from so-called business and finance experts who can’t seem to see two or three years down the road.
One of the most notable hit pieces on it came from Motley Fool, which, to its credit, also had a counterpoint piece basically calling author Jake Mann insane for predicting failure.
In Mann’s piece, he cited three primary reasons why the WWE Network wasn’t long for this world. First, he mistakenly claimed that it had “flopped before,” comparing it to WWE 24/7, which didn’t have the big selling point of all pay-per-views included for free.
Secondly, he claimed, “The numbers just don’t add up,” even though the network had reached 60 percent of its goal in less than three months. Thirdly, he cited technical problems (most of which were ironed out by the end of the first week).
So Mann isn’t a fan. No big deal because “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is, right?
It’s not that he hates the idea, but in a recent interview to promote his upcoming special, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge on CMT (airing July 6), Austin highlighted a few of the issues he’s experienced with the WWE Network. His comments:
“Obviously this is going to be a big financial changer because you’re not going to get all those buy rates. … I’ve had a brief experience with the WWE Network. I signed up for it. I’m not a real gadget guy. I’ve had an iPad for damn near two years, but I hardly ever use it. I put the WWE Network on there, and I typed in certain matches, they didn’t have certain things from NWA or WCW. So I’ve been going more to YouTube. I think they need a little bit more original content. I need to get on there more to familiarize myself with it. One of the things I’ve enjoyed is the old Garden stuff and from World Class (Championship Wrestling). I think it was smart to come out with the network. I think it’s going to catch on more in the next two or three years, and that’s when it will pay off.”
(Hat tip to Justin LaBar and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for that interview.)
So what do you think, readers and wrestling fans? Have you given the WWE Network a fair shake yet? What are your thoughts and impressions — both good and bad?