WWE Chairman Vince McMahon sees that the world is going digital, and due to this he wants to make sure the WWE Network is bigger and better than ever before in 2017. It is doubtful that WWE would ever be able to be as big as Hulu or Netflix due to being a pro-wrestling model, but they could be one of the top sports applications in the world today. However, they’re not the only ones who plan to do this.
FloSports has managed to do well here for some time, and now they’ve managed to start another form in their model called FloSlam. The application costs very little money, at around $20 a month. This is clearly easy to reach, and while it is more than WWE’s $9.99 model, it does have more than one promotion involved in it thus far. In fact, they have already managed to sign up EVOLVE and House of Hardcore alone. Both of which are friendly with WWE.
Funny enough, WWE happens to be a financial backer of FloSports. However, they were furious when they found out about FloSlam as they wanted to do the same model not too long ago and it seems they beat WWE to the punch. This is really the first time WWE has been beaten to the punch on things like this, as they have really been the leader in most business things involving pro-wrestling. WWE now wants to make sure they truly make 2017 a big deal for their WWE Network to make it THE streaming service for the pro-wrestling fan.
According to Daily Wrestling News, WWE did issue a survey to fans earlier this year about new price models. The price list would be $4.99, $9.99, and $14.99. The thought is that the big price would include other promotions. In fact, WWE mentioned TNA and ROH by name in the survey. They also issued another survey asking which promotions WWE fans were watching other than them. The list included, PWG, Chikara, EVOLVE, DGUSA, OVW, AAW, CZW, Shimmer, SCW, ROH, and FIP.
The Wrestling Observer reports that WWE wants to sign up at least some “hot indies” to the WWE Network. This would possibly include many of the promotions mentioned above. Joe Koff of ROH mentioned publicly that he would love to do business with the WWE, which means we could certainly see them involved, WWE is also friendly with WWN Live which has EVOLVE and DGUSA under its manner as well as Shimmer now. Chikara is comedy driven and would easily fit well into WWE’s PG environment and would certainly be a promotion WWE would want.
One really tough one to bring in would be PWG. They turned down the FloSports offer they were given and have been against going mainstream for a while. They have some of the top independent talent in the world working with them, but they really don’t sign a lot of guys to contracts. They simply sign them for per date deals, which is why many of the wrestlers seen here are with other indie promotions as well. Ideally, people would love to see PWG live or at least some of their shows an easier way.
Imagine seeing the Battle of Los Angeles Live on the WWE Network for example. Fans would eat that up and WWE would make a great deal of money on this due to fans signing on just to watch. Combine this with the money they would offer PWG for their service and things could go well here. Obviously all companies involved would be paid in order to do so. The problem is simply going to be signing people on before they commit to an exclusive, long-term deal with FloSports.
The Observer speculates the next few months will be interesting for the business of WWE, with a lot of potential changes coming to the WWE Network specifically. The thought is that WWE will begin to develop more partnerships with other indie promotions which will end up on the WWE Network. Triple H has done well in his relationships with these areas, so it is likely he’ll be a major part of this project with Vince McMahon himself.
[Featured Image by WWE]