The WWE is conducting market research that could possibly lead to a price tier system and expanded library of content for the WWE Network, a recent survey sent out by the company shows.
There would be four different tiers which offer viewers different types of access to the WWE Network. A free tier would be the subscribers’ first choice; it would include video clips of five minutes or less and up to five hours of viewing the video archive. The content would include commercials, but would be available on all major devices. While live streams would be included in this plan, pay-per-views, NXT, and the Cruiserweight Classic — which appears to be returning– would be blacked out.
— 411 Wrestling (@411wrestling) October 8, 2016
The first paid tier ($4.99 per month) would include the four major pay-per-views; Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. Much like the free tier, NXT would not be part of the live steam but subscribers would have access to NXT-on-demand. Commercials would be limited but this plan would only be available for smartphones and tablets.
The second paid tier would be $9.99 per month and is similar to the first paid tier, but offers more flexibility. Commercials would be limited, but this plan would be available on all major devices. The Cruiserweight Classic is mentioned in this plan once again, stating fans would see new weekly episodes. As Wrestling News points out, this could mean that the show returns as a fixture on the network and not an annual tournament.
The final — and most lucrative — tier would cost viewers $14.99 per month. It would include footage of promotions outside of WWE and not feature commercials. It also would include perks such as early ticket access to events, offline content downloads, small group online chats, second screen content and invites to in-person V.I.P meet-ups.
As can be seen in the chart below, Total Nonstop Action (TNA) and Ring of Honor (ROH) are specifically mentioned as promotions that may be featured on the network in this tier. The image below gives a detailed rundown of all the tiers.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that there are rumblings about WWE and ROH possibly being in talks about being on the WWE Network. It’s unclear if these talks are about ROH’s library or airing their live events, similar to UFC Fight Pass which airs other promotions’ live shows.
It has been reported throughout the week that WWE and TNA have been in talks about TNA’s video library. The company has been going through a rough financial patch and is currently in the midst of major executive changes. Justin LaBar of Upgruv tweeted on October 5 that WWE was set to buy TNA’s library. He added that a new majority owner would be named.
Just got a text saying #WWE to buy TNA video library & Billy Corgan is going to be new majority owner of TNA that he’ll likely rebrand. Wow!
— Justin LaBar (@JustinLaBar) October 5, 2016
However, that rumor was debunked by current TNA Chairman Dixie Carter and executive Bob Ryder. However, talks between WWE and TNA appear ongoing and a recent report from WON stated that TNA executive John Gaburick and WWE producer Kevin Dunn met this week to discuss a potential sale of the TNA video library.
Since WWE has forged relationships with companies such as EVOLVE and Progress Wrestling, there’s a possibility content from those federations would also be included in the proposed WWE Network overhaul.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]