clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: WWE Network launch date targeted for WrestleMania 28

via <a href=""></a>

When WWE announced plans to roll out its very own network in 2012, it did so to jump the gun on Dana White and the UFC, who were thought to be in the process of doing the same. That plan went by the wayside once a deal was cut with FOX to air UFC programming across the FOX Sports various networks but WWE hasn't backed off one bit on its ambitious plan.

In fact, they've now reportedly got a target launch date. According to, the network will launch around WrestleMania 28 next year to capitalize on the increased promotion and visibility of its product, especially considering how big they're planning to make the event next year.

The Rock will be returning for a match against John Cena that will have had over one year's worth of build up and it's also possible that Stone Cold Steve Austin returns for a match on the card, as well. Internally, WWE believes they can break all of its previous pay-per-view buy records with the show, so it makes sense to attempt to roll out the WWE Network around the same time.

This plan, which of course comes with the disclaimer that it can -- and probably will -- change at any moment, seems a tad too ambitious even for a promotion that prides itself on pulling off seemingly impossible feats.

For starters, deals still have yet to be made with cable and satellite providers, which is easier said than done. The NFL, which is easily the largest and most popular sport in the United States, has struggled mightily for nearly a decade to get its channel picked up by larger cable providers across the country. There's no reason to believe WWE would have it any easier.

Secondly, programming is still being worked out and, to date, only three shows have been announced, only one of which has actually drawn any real interest by fans. Surveys are still being conducted as to exactly what fans will and will not pay for, such as the idea that a move to the Network for the "Big Four" pay-per-views would be in order.

That would be a desperation move with most pundits panning the idea. More recent surveys sent out show that the idea has already been scrapped and it's entirely possible that most of the "B-show" pay-per-views could land on the Network. However, seeing as distribution deals still aren't in place, there's very little to work off.

Is it realistic for WWE to believe it can have its Network ready to roll out come WrestleMania 28? Yes, but it seems highly unlikely and if does get done, it will undoubtedly be rushed.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats