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WWE Network growth plans include more Raw and Nitro, less Swerved

As part of today's financial announcements, WWE revealed quite a bit of its programming and other strategies for growing the Network.

The second quarter's most viewed program (other than Sunday pay-per-view (PPV) events) was July 4's Beast in the East. That re-affirms the notion that fresh content will be a driver for the streaming service, and increases hopes that the company will invest in more wrestling-based shows on their development slate.

While not new, the plan is to bring more old episodes of Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro into the on demand library. Other compilations and documentary-type programming planned for the library includes: The Raw Attitude Era Part 2: Austin/McMahon, WCW Nitro: Accelerating the War, and The 20th Anniversary of Monday Nitro.

On the new programming front, a couple of interesting concepts are mentioned. One is a reality show based around NXT stars trying to make it to the main roster. Interesting that they'd invest in the "unscripted" market considering their ratings struggles with Tough Enough and Total Divas this year, but this should avoid the pitfalls of the competition-based TE and leverage the ability to present character drama they've learned on TD.

Another new show discussed was Table for 3, said to "gives viewers a seat at the table with our Superstars and Divas". They're also back to talking about a studio show similar to SportsCenter, but covering pop culture news beyond WWE as well, and new episodes of WWE 24, The WWE List, and Stone Cold Podcast.

One show that appears to have gotten the axe is Swerved. Rumors have been floating around that talent hated the concept, and that may be what did the program in despite a lot of advertising by the company.

Other plans include sticking with the free trial month program, which executives view as a successful way of acquiring new subscribers, and selling a three-month subscription gift card at retail outlets, to allow customers to try the service without providing a credit card to WWE at service start-up.

We'll have more from the conference call - going on now - later today.

Any shows or plans here that excite you, Cagesiders?

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