WWE Network May Be Getting Short Changed By Paypal Users

WWE Network offers tremendous value to wrestling fans, but has still faced an uphill climb in getting to its goal of between 1.3 million to 1.4 million subscribers.

In spite of post-WrestleMania 30 numbers totaling more than 600,000, there have been rumblings that that number has backed off a bit, which should be impossible considering that you order under the terms of a six-month obligation.

However, as the Figure Four Weekly Newsletter reports, some may be using Paypal to back out of the commitment.

From the report:

“It was eventually pointed out that anyone who pays via PayPal could try to de-authorize WWE Network as an authorized automated payee. In theory, since it wasn’t designed for there to be any kind of commitment to X number of months (just like PayPal isn’t designed to lock out non-US customers and opened up the network to workarounds), WWE would just deactivate your account and you’d be as good as cancelled. But nobody had tried it.”

“A friend of mine had gotten fed up with the stagnant content and tried it. It worked. Just like that, he got around the firewall that was supposed to make the “every PPV” plan viable. It’s simple. He happened to cancel right before the new free trial and his account is working fine during the trial, so it’s not like he’s locked out in any way for non-payment.”

Yet another workaround to stick it to the WWE Network is to share subscriber information with friends as one person reported doing through the Wrestling Observer.

This person said he shared his log-in information with five friends, and they were all able to stream pay-per-views separately and watch together live.

Two things: firstly, while the WWE Network isn’t as good as it could be — it’s about five months old — the PPV deal alone is worth the $9.99 per month.

I hadn’t watched wrestling for eight years — not a single show — and that alone was enough to get me back in the fold.

By sharing log-in information, fans are basically biting the hand that feeds them and guaranteeing this thing’s failure — which means the only option will be the headache of finding a pirate stream that won’t a) get you arrested, or b) suck in quality. Or you could pay the $50 to $60 for each event if you’re not particularly bright.

Secondly, with the Paypal thing, it seems like the company should have some kind of legal recourse here. They should be able to take the agreements that customers made and force Paypal to enforce them. If the execs behind WWE Network aren’t looking into this, then shame on them.

Do you guys think the WWE Network will survive? How long before we know?