Tonight in Las Vegas, the WWE announced that they would soon be launching the WWE Network. The WWE Network is going to be broadcast over the internet, with a 24/7/365 live stream of content, and an on-demand library. It has an announced launch date of Monday, February 24th, beginning at 11:05, immediately after that night’s Raw. The Network will cost $9.99 a month, with a six-month commitment required at first.
Fans in the United States will be able to access the WWE Network through a computer, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, and many other platforms, with Xbox One and Smart TV’s soon to follow. Fans around the world will have to wait until at least late 2014 to get the Network.
As a part of the live stream, Raw and SmackDown will both have pre- and post-shows. NXT will find itself a home, previously only available with a Hulu Plus account. Legends House, which is previously un-aired, is a reality show with 8 legends living in a house together. WWE Countdown will be a countdown show counting down best finishers, best catchphrases, etc. The last announced show is Monday Night War: Raw vs. Nitro, a show revolving around the back-story of the infamous Monday Night Wars between WWE and WCW. Along with replays of pay-per-views, or shows from other networks (Raw, SmackDown, Total Divas).
If you miss the beginning of any show on the live stream, the option is there to start it from the beginning at anytime. Also, if a show is upcoming, the Network gives you the option to set a reminder, which could result in either a push notification or text message.
The on-demand library will have every Raw and SmackDown from years past, a huge addition in the minds of many fans, though, it’s the pay-per-view library that blew people away. It was only expected to have every WWE pay-per-view from the past, however, it also will include every WCW and ECW pay-per-view as well. In my opinion, this is an amazing addition to the WWE Network because watching back old pay-per-views is a lot of fun. Most WrestleManias and Royal Rumbles stand the test of time and can be watched multiple times. As a fan in my 20s, having only truly seen WWE pay-per-views, the addition of WCW and ECW gives me the opportunity to learn a lot more about wrestling history and that is an opportunity I’m going to take advantage of.
The most important part though, is the inclusion of all live pay-per-views in the live stream, including WrestleMania. Watching pay-per-views through the Network, and not on pay-per-view, will save fans about $500 a year.
From where I sit, the WWE Network seems like a must-have for any wrestling fan. Content is sure to be added to both the live stream and on-demand library as time goes on, but for now there is plenty of content to reel fans in. The price is not that high, especially considering it saves $50 for fans on ordering that month’s pay-per-view. The best part will be the the archived pay-per-views, and I will be watching those non-stop. The only real question is: what will happen to school and work attendance of WWE fans on February 25th?
I’m excited for the Network. Are you? Are you not? Let me know in the comments section below.