The WWE Network is here.
That was indeed the "groundbreaking announcement" made by Vince McMahon and company at the press conference held tonight (Wed., Jan. 8, 2014) at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, as expected. Here are all the major details that were dropped at the press conference (click here to watch the video replay):
- The Network will be the first to launch with a 24/7 streaming service. There will be live content and an on-demand library of programming accessible at all times from ANY platform and from ANY device.
- All 12 live pay-per-view (PPV) events will be included. That includes WrestleMania, at no extra price. Wow.
- Every single WCW and ECW PPV will be available to stream. There are over 300 total that are available on demand, whenever you want.
- Live pre and post-shows for Raw and SmackDown. There will also be a live daily show at some point, much like Sportscenter.
- The price of the network will be $9.99, which is one hell of a deal with everything that is being included. It was later revealed that that price comes with a six-month commitment.
- The launch date: Feb. 24, 2014, at 11:05 p.m. ET immediately following Monday Night Raw that evening.
- At launch, it will be available through WWE.com on desktop and through the App on mobile devices. XBOX, Playstation, Roku, and others will also have access. XBOX 1 and Smart TVs will have access by the summer.
- The U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong will have the Network by late 2014 or early 2015 with many more countries to follow.
- The slogan for the Network: "It's way over the top."
- NXT will finally have a home and it is being marketed as a place where developing superstars compete to make it to the main roster.
- Legends House, the reality show WWE filmed last year featuring the likes of "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Roddy Piper, and more, finally has a home.
- WrestleMania Rewind is another show that has a home. It's a documentary style look at the biggest show of the year on the WWE calendar.
- WWE Countdown is a new show that will debut, an interactive program essentially featuring all the various lists WWE.com breaks out that we love so much here at Cageside. This time, though, you're getting it in video form.
- The story of the Monday Night War will be told with a new series.
- To purchase the WWE Network, you have to either have a WWE.com account, or some sort of social media you can connect through. It's only a matter of clicks to get there. One click will get you there through most other devices, like mobile and Playstation.
- The video will be 720p, HD quality viewing.
- You can set up reminders to be delivered straight to your e-mail or mobile device for upcoming shows.
- There is a partnership with the folks at MLB TV, a similar network that streams some 20,000 hours of programming. It's a huge undertaking but they've made it work to near flawless results. It's a good partnership for both sides.