WWE, or World Wrestling Entertainment, announced it will be launching its very own channel, the WWE Network, late Wednesday. It will be considered the first ever 24/7 streaming network.
The timing for this release is very poetic and thrilling for wrestling fans around the world.
To preface, I myself am a wrestling fan and have been since I was able to stand up. Yes, it might not be a popular ploy to tell people a 24-year-old still enjoys watching “scripted” professional wrestling, but I will never be ashamed to like the things I do. Nearly 15 million people view WWE each week around U.S. and “Monday Night Raw” “is the longest running weekly episodic program in the U.S.,” according to WWE’s website.
Although it might seem silly to most, many fans have already know that what they are watching is scripted, but the live action and scripted moments still feel real, even though you would consider it fake. What I would say to those who laugh at people who like wrestling is to take a step back from your favorite television show currently on air. Unless you are watching the History Channel, most of what you will find is fictional material in scripted shows. The only thing that separates wrestling from those shows is that the portrayal of actions occurring are real, when, once again, most who watch wrestling understand the hyperbole and nuances behind it.
The WWE finally decided it was the right time to launch the WWE Network and the caveats, which come along with it, are a wrestling fan’s dream. The WWE Network is set to launch Feb. 24 and is slated to cost viewers $9.99 per month with a six-month commitment. With the monthly plan, the network will also provide subscribers every pay-per-view with the package, including its biggest event, WrestleMania, which is valued at more than $600 per year.
Being a 24/7 network will provide viewers the opportunity to watch at any time, whether it is through their TV or through an online subscription. Aside from classic pay-per-views or other countless moments throughout wrestling history, the network will also include original programming, documentaries and its own version of wrestling reality shows, such as pairing old-school legends together in one house to find out what happens when things start getting real between guys who once played fictional characters on television.
After sifting through what the launching of the WWE Network provides to consumers, I would have to argue this is one of the best things for both the WWE and its fans. The discussion of its own network has been on the minds of all WWE brass, and the eventual release can do nothing but ease the minds of those in charge. This is a moment for WWE and Vince McMahon, current CEO of the company, that has finally come to fruition and should be very beneficial to its fans across the world.
I believe this is a monumental event for the company and the limits for how the network can expand into the future are endless. Living in the technological world we do, the WWE Network will find a way to explore all forms of media involvement and keep its fans happy for a very long time. This network will be the equivalent to ESPN running SportsCenter on loop, except the value and different types of content will keep people interested in staying with the network. As fans, we will come to expect a variety of shows, along with indulging in nostalgic, throwback matches that have made us the fans we are today.
The question I have to answer is whether or not I will be purchasing the network and enjoying all of which it offers.
Although this might be obvious, to quote the best wrestler in the company today, Daniel Bryan, I would have to say, “Yes!”