Smackdown and Raw will air on the new network immediately following their airing on SyFy and USA, respectively. They need $800,000 to 1 million subscribers to the new channel to break even on lost revenue for pay per views in the traditional sense. They are projecting 2 to 4 million subscribers in the first year. With MLB technologies involved in creating the online channel, I am hopeful most of the rokus will be able to see the channel. I also suspect the video will be very good.
I think WWE is making a good move here and this will be the wave of the future. Their biggest hurdle, in my opinion, is keeping people from sharing their id's and ensuring customers who are watching are in fact subscribing.
I hope it succeeds as I would like to see other channels go this route. Hopefully, the NFL will do something like this following their latest contract with DirecTV.
I agree with you. It will be a struggle for them to ensure that people are not sharing their id info with people who are not subscribing. The network though I think will be a good attempt for them to try and combat the trend of people streaming their content, specifically their pay-per-view events online for free. The good news for Vince McMahon is that, that is a problem that is facing practically everyone in the television industry and not just the sports/entertainment genre.
I have no doubt that people will find a way, one way or the other to see the content, but for $10 a month, I don’t think it is that much of an expense to subscribe to the network. I also agree with you that al la carte direct to consumer digital distribution is the way things are heading, much in the same way that more and more jobs are becoming online based, I think that the internet will eventually take over. It is only a question of how.
Speaking as a longtime DirecTV subscriber, I know that they are getting ready to increase their rates again for the second time in three years with the reasoning that it is becoming more expensive for them to provide content. I don’t know about the exact figures involved, but again as I said before in terms of pay-per-view why pay between $44-64 and sometimes above, plus tax for content when you can get the same content for a considerably cheaper subscription price, with video on demand included?
Speaking for myself, I have every intention of subscribing to this network immediately when it launches, but I have thought about ordering Wrestlemania, as I have every year via the traditional medium, just in case there is any problems with the feed via the network. This of course is assuming that the event will still be available and there is not a revolt from the cable and satellite providers. I do think that more and more broadcasters will eventually offer OTT to the consumer. I am surprised that Epix for example has not capitalized on this and has only made their streaming service available so long as the person who wants access has a participating provider.
You would think that Epix would follow the example of say Wealth TV (Now AWE) in offering their service direct to the consumer at a subscription price without having a provider involved. Both have struggled for cable and satellite clearances and you would think that Epix would see this as an opportunity to side step those providers who do not want to carry their service. As far as Vince McMahon’s company goes, I believe they will make more money long term going this route then had the network launched as a cable/satellite entity as originally planned.
Considering the increase in carriage disputes between networks and providers I think things might change sooner rather than later. If so it would be great for companies like Roku. We will have to wait and see what happens. All I know is combining my UFC Fight Pass subscription with McMahon’s network subscription for a total of $240 a year plus my other streaming subscriptions is a lot more appealing then what I have paid over the years for the same content via traditional mediums. I have no doubt though that in time both will probably increase the price of their subscription services. From a corporate standpoint, it is only natural if something you offer to the consumer is successful to gradually increase rates.