WWE News: WWE Changing PPV Business In An Effort To Push WWE Network Buys

When World Wrestling Entertainment, better known as WWE, launched their WWE Network, excitement was in the air. It was a Vince McMahon dream come true, that was 5 years in the making. Dating back to 2008, the WWE was attempting to get everything ready to launch a channel along the lines of the NFL Network. Like the NFL Network, WWE Network had an uphill battle getting on TV. The NFL was a well off organization that had owners who would spend millions on something if needed. The NFL knew that their fans would follow the network if available, and they were right.

This success helped to launch MLB, NBA, and NHL TV networks, along with channels dedicated to racing. The money was there with all and while the original idea seemed crazy, the end result was that it worked out well. Naturally, when the WWE saw this, they felt that they were just as good and could compete with anything the sports companies were doing because their following was almost a mirror image.

The WWE felt that when they launched their network this year, they’d garner over one million subscribers by WrestleMania 30. It wasn’t as if the WWE didn’t offer something very unheard of. WWE actually was doing this network for fans and not for business, as they could make millions more without the WWE Network than with it. WWE was able to upload thousands of hours worth of content from the past. Along with that was original WWE programming and even all 12 WWE PPVs, including the Big 4 of Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series.

WWE was able to do all of this for the price of $9.99 per month. That translated to around $120 per year. WWE PPVs alone cost around $50 to $60, so for the price of two WWE PPVs you might buy in a year, you get all of them plus NXT, original programming, and thousands of hours of content from WCW, ECW, WWE, WCCW, AWA, NWA, etc.

Literally a fans paradise, but sadly by WrestleMania, WWE had only brought in around 70 percent of their goal rate. That meant angry investors and lower money for talent that used to get good PPV bonuses. WWE just paid their talent for WrestleMania this past June, and it was not the amount they wanted to see.

Stars like The Rock claimed that he would come back but only for guaranteed money. WWE would have to potentially shell out the cash to pay The Rock a high amount that they could make with Mania on PPV, but not on the network. So past stars randomly coming in would be more uncommon due to the fact WWE would not be willing to lose money just to bring someone in.

WrestleMania 30 backstage

WWE has started to change the way they do their PPV business due to all of this, which is probably for the best.

This basically means that WWE returns for stars like a Rock, Steve Austin, etc. for matches may be lowered because usually they are paid per match along with a percentage of the PPV buys. The issue is, WWE has been removed from many American cable/satellite companies for PPVs. Dish and DirecTV cut them almost immediately then decided to keep them for a small time before cutting them altogether.

When WWE Network ends up in the UK, similar issues may occur. However, WWE expects the UK crowd to invest, as many of them have to pay higher cable packages to get WWE programming as it is. So simply cutting that for the network may be a good option for them.

WWE is in a position where they simply have to go through growing pains yet again. While they were used to it before, WWE has always had success with no competition in toe. Now that WWE wants to compete with major sports companies as well as entertainment one’s, they are seemingly at the bottom of the barrel again. While most feel the WWE will do fine once all the growing pains are over with, WWE has to fully entice fans to get the network over the next six months. If WWE goes into 2015, especially WrestleMania 31 with under two million to five million total subscribers, they will be in trouble with the network financially. Right now, the WWE Network is losing money.

Vince McMahon is a smart business man; he knows from past experiments(XFL) that you cannot always have a winner despite your past successes. If the WWE Network keeps losing millions for the company, it will end up being revamped or ended all together. If neither happen, then eventually WWE as a whole will suffer financially and Vince would die before letting that happen.

[IMG Credits: Google, WWE.com]