CES: WWE To Launch OTT Network

Las Vegas -- The WWE will go over the top of the cable industry with the Feb. 24 launch of a 24-hour streaming network that will feature the wrestling outfit's pay-per-view events.

The WWE Network, which has been in development for four years, will launch with WWE-produced original programming, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches and more than 1,500 hours of video on demand content, company officials said Wednesday during a CES press conference. Consumers will pay $9.99 per month with a six month commitment for the network, which will launch on desktops and laptops via WWE.com, as well as on Amazon's Kindle Fire devices; Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy;  Apple iPads and iPhones; Roku boxes; and on video game consoles Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360.

WWE chief revenue and marketing officer Michelle Wilson told Multichannel News that the WWE decided to offer an OTT network after concerns that it would not gain significant distribution from operators, satellite providers and telcos.

“None of those distributors were particularly looking to launch more networks; if anything they were looking to rationalize their lineups,” she said. “When we started to look at the economic tradeoffs and how quickly we could we could go over the top as compared to traditional distribution, it really became apparent that we could really give our fans a much better user experience with an over the top service.”

For the full story go to Multichannel.com.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.