The 57 million homes awaiting a WWE Network need not worry, there is one definitely coming.
Vince McMahon confirmed as much today (Nov. 1) on the company's annual quarterly conference call with investors while revealing the Network will be an interactive premium subscription channel, as expected. However, there is still no launch date set because, well, it's still really rough sledding out there, folks.
PWTorch.com has more:
McMahon later said during WWE's quarterly conference call with investors that WWE is considering "several" potential strategies under the premium subscription model. One would include select PPVs distributed through the model and the other would not include PPVs.
Asked if the "HBO-type model" would cannibalize WWE's standard TV shows and PPVs events, McMahon said, "Whatever we do will be an add-on when you look at the entire production."
Another interesting aspect to this is that WWE's contract with SyFy is coming up soon. That means it's decision time on whether or not the company feels it can get the Network off the ground fast with original first run content like SmackDown or if they need to re up. The ratings on Friday night are still consistently good, some of the best SyFy gets each week.
McMahon seemed to allay those fears when saying they wish to promote the Network simply by having other programming on various channels, such as Monday Night Raw on USA, Main Event on Ion Television and so on and so forth.
Earlier this week, my main man Keith Harris brought you word of a recent study WWE was pushing that uses wonky statistics to justify the Network itself. McMahon was driving that home on the conference call as well, though he put a nice spin on it.
"We don't need to capture all of that audience. Just the ones that are very likely to join the Network, our model makes a considerable amount of revenue."
All of that audience includes the 57 million homes we mentioned earlier, a ridiculous number that somehow managed to include "lapsed" fans, or people who used to be fans of pro wrestling but no longer bother to keep up with the product.
As for how much all this is costing? Naturally, that question was blown off, as investors were told they would have to wait until next year and the next conference call where WWE hopes to have a more firm view of the numbers locked in.
All told, there was nothing coming out of this to feel particularly good about. Taking liberty with statistics as a way to justify creating a 24/7 Network that fans would have to pay for when they can't even manage to get those same fans to stick with Raw for the full three hours each week just sounds insane.
But we are talking about Vince McMahon here. So there you have it.