Vince McMahon likes to call himself a genius, being that he is the reason the WWE has been as successful as it’s been for the past 30 some years. He has taken many chances, and most have paid off. His most recent, the WWE Network, seems to be much more costly than he ever imagined.
The WWE Network was finally launched in February of this year after being delayed for over two years. I think that was to get everything they wanted on it. Anyway, the WWE Network is not a cable network, it’s a streaming service, similar to Netflix. The price at the moment is $9.99 a month and is a must-have to any die hard WWE fan. Thousands of hours of content allows viewers to relive moments from any era of WWE. It sounds like nothing could go wrong, right? Well, not exactly.
WWE took a gamble with the Network, first by offering the monthly pay-per-view events on the network. This upset cable companies and most have stopped carrying WWE pay-per-views, thus drastically affecting pay-per-view revenue. It’s good news for fans, since they don’t have to pay $55 or so to watch PPV’s, but WWE loses more money than it’s fans save. The news gets worse because word broke out not too long ago that Vince McMahon reportedly lost at least $750 million. That’s a lot more money than anyone reading this article will probably see in their lifetime. To make up for that lose, their was the recent string of release throughout the WWE. This came after the WWE said they would no longer release talents.
The Network, while a good thing to have, didn’t have the number of sign-ups WWE had hope for. They were hoping for a least one million, and haven’t gotten there yet. What that means is WWE isn’t making money to cover the loses created by the fewer than expected network subscriptions, hence the recent releases as well as budget cuts. Sure, this could be a short-term loss, long-term gain situation, but it may not. If the company continues to lose money, they may have to pull the plug on the whole network before WWE loses too much money that they’ll never be able to recover.
Will the WWE Network bankrupt the company? I say no. Vince is smart and knows how to recover. He’s lost money before and gained more back in the past. I think he can do the same here. The Network is innovative and will take some getting used to, but given time, it will be a success.
Until next time, lose some now, gain a lot later,