That certainly seems to be the case.
YouTube recently announced an unprecedented initiative that they hope will threaten traditional television viewing with 100 brand new channels on its already gigantic website.
And one of those channels will be owned and operated by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
In a low-budget early effort to compete with satellite and cable TV providers, YouTube announced Friday that it has partnered with several entities to roll out television-style channels with professionally produced shows that will strike a sharp contrast to the short videos of crazy cats, skateboard wipeouts and other amateur content that made the site famous.
Insiders said the Google-owned property has shelled out some $150 million in advances for the creation of about 100 channels, with a maximum $5 million going to any single channel. Financial details were sketchy on Friday, though The Wall Street Journal reported that deals call for YouTube recouping its advances then giving as much as 55 percent of the ad revenue to the content creators.
That means it's likely this is the carrier the company has been looking for to roll out its WWE Network sometime next year, reportedly around WrestleMania 28 in April.
Here's the word from The Wrestling Observer:
This is almost certainly the first roll-out of the new WWE Network which the company has claimed will launch around WrestleMania of 2012. This would certainly solve the problem of trying to get clearances on over-the-air television, but it's also certainly not what most fans were expecting when they heard WWE was planning to launch its own network.
Indeed, this is undoubtedly a surprise but it could very well turn out to be a brilliant strategy for Vince McMahon and co. That's because it cuts through the headaches he would surely run into trying to get his channel picked up by subscription services and cable providers, something even the NFL Network still struggles to do nearly a decade after its inception.
Anyone with an Internet connection will be able to check out WWE Network if this is, in fact, the direction the promotion is headed.
How's that sound to you, Cagesiders? Better or worse than putting it on cable?