McMahon: WWE Network Expected To Launch in Mid 2011

World Wrestling Entertainment is looking to jump into the cable network ring with a proposed network that the pro grappling outfit expects to launch in the next 18 months, according to WWE chairman Vince McMahon.
McMahon, speaking Thursday morning during the company's 2009 fourth-quarter earnings call, said it has been doing "a great deal of due diligence" toward creating a WWE cable network that would presumably offer live and library content.

"I would hope a year-and-a-half from now we would be up and running," McMahon said. "We think there is a tremendous opportunity for us out there and quite frankly if things happen as we hope they will happen it will be a really big game changer for the WWE."

The proposed network would not infringe on the WWE's current cable and broadcast shows, including USA Network's WWE Monday Night Raw and MyNetworkTV's SmackDown , but instead could be used as a marketing tool for those shows.

"We are unique in that what's good for the WWE is good for all our television partners as far as promotion and things of that nature," he said. "The new network could tie in and be adjacent to some of those shows and quite frankly our own network can enhance Raw and SmackDown. It would really be a win-win across the board for our television partners, as well as for us."

R. Thomas Umstead

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.