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WWE reportedly taking steps to stop sharing of Network accounts

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The topic of shared accounts is one that comes up frequently in the business of over-the-top, streaming services.

HBO famously looks the other way, while NetFlix has a mechanism for multiple users to use the same login, but polices it beyond that. The practice of people sharing their Network account comes up routinely on WWE investor conference calls, and is usually answered with something along the lines of "we're aware of it and are looking into it".

According to an item from PWInsider this morning, the company is taking steps to crack down on the practice. According to their source, users attempting to log in simultaneously on multiple devices receive a "stream limit exceeded" error message, which directs people to the following help topic:

If you see an error that says "STREAM LIMIT EXCEEDED" or "TOO MANY USAGE ATTEMPTS" it means your WWE Network account is in use on another device. WWE Network allows one Network stream per login.

To resolve:

• Log out of all devices

• Log back in to the primary device you are trying to view on

If you have shared your account with friends or family, they may be using WWE Network while you're trying watch some content. WWE Network allows one Network stream per login.

If you think someone is using your account without your permission:

• Log out of all devices

• Change your WWE Password

• Log back in to the primary device you are trying to view on

From personal experience, I received that message about six months ago when logging in to a new streaming device (a Roku stick) for the first time even though I was not watching on the other streaming device in my house at the time. Whether that was the result of a test run of this new anti-piracy feature or something designed to occur based on what I was trying to do at the time, I couldn't say.

Mike Johnson's report at the Insider says WWE has changed their terms of service recently to document the new policy, now including this language:

Although your WWE Network subscription is accessible on a number of devices, your use is limited to one (1) WWE Network stream on one (1) device at any given time. IF YOU CIRCUMVENT OR ATTEMPT TO CIRCUMVENT ANY OF THE USE RESTRICTIONS IN THESE TERMS, YOUR SUBSCRIPTION WILL BE SUBJECT TO IMMEDIATE TERMINATION AND YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL ACTION. SHARING OF LOGIN INFORMATION, INCLUDING PASSWORDS, IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.

Though remaining logged in from multiple devices is a feature of many streaming services, WWE probably sees a spike in account sharing during live events and decided they needed to do something to drive those users toward at least a trial subscription for their overall numbers.

Let us know if this will impact you, and we'll keep an eye on subscriber response to how this is implemented.