SBD/April 11, 2013/Media

WWE Plans To Launch Long-Discussed TV Channel This Fall As Premium Network

WWE plans to launch its TV network “this fall as a premium pay-TV outlet, akin to the NFL Network, which airs live games and vintage programming from a vast library,” according to Marc Graser of VARIETY. The reason to launch as a premium outlet is that carriers are “clamping down on the costs of basic cable and satellite channels.” WWE Network will “share its revenues with carriers, and executives believe it will need just 1 million subscribers to break even.” Given that WWE “already produces 12 pay-per-view events per year, priced as high as $60 each, and that it generated more than 4 million buys for those events, the wisdom is that fans will pay $15-per-month to subscribe.” The net “will be the home of most of WWE’s current PPV events," though WrestleMania, its largest event, will remain a PPV buy. The premium model “looks especially attractive in overseas territories like Canada and Mexico.” WWE “plans to continue to air its current shows on USA, Syfy, Ion and the CW, and not pull its current lineup from those channels.” The addition of shows, “even on lower-profile nets like CW and Ion, expanded WWE’s overall TV reach by 35%” (VARIETY, 4/9 issue).
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