Utilizing its 75,000-hour programming library, the World Wrestling Entertainment has unveiled a new initiative to build a several of new content-based businesses with its cable, satellite and other worldwide television partners.
The first step is the launch of WWE 24/7, a subscription-video-on-demand service that will feature pay-per-view, cable and syndicated broadcast content, home videos, new original productions and proprietary broadband content, from the WWE and other acquired national and regional wrestling brands.
A recently launched in-house business development unit, WWE Enterprises, will work directly with cable companies, affiliates and satellite providers to create, customize and cross-promote these new services.
"WWE is ready to move even more aggressively into the digital age by providing new services that will fit with the active lifestyles of our fans and meet their demand for new and innovative content," said WWE, chairman Vincent McMahon in a statement announcing the new initiative. "I'm confident we can move into this new distribution platform for television as successfully as we have for syndication, cable, broadcast and pay-per-view."
Over the past three years, WWE has strategically acquired the libraries of a host of other national and regional promoters, including WCW, ECW and AWA. The result is an archive of more than 75,000 hours of bankable programming content that is not only one of the most sizeable video libraries in television, but the world's largest dedicated to wrestling and sports entertainment.
WWE 24/7 will make approximately 20 hours of content available per month--4 to 5 new hours per week on average. The content includes the best of past cable, broadcast, pay-per-view and home videos from WWE and other leading promoters.
Customized broadband content will be created for MSOs' Web sites and other distributors promoting the new offering.
WWE also anticipates providing content on a free-on-demand promotional basis to spur trial and help its partners promote these new services.
"Our mission is to put our proven, highly-desirable content into new distribution channels that entertain our fans worldwide and generate revenue for our distribution partners and WWE," said WWE CEO Linda McMahon.
"Every business loves the prospect of steady monthly income. WWE 24/7 is the beginning of a reenergized effort to serve our partners by building incremental businesses that increase their revenues and acclimate their customers to exciting new digital and high-speed services."
Copyright 2004 Mediaweek
Dependent on the price, this is perfect for the person without a DVD player or if they have fresh content that hasn't been released yet. I think it's a smart move, even if we haven't/won't get it from Insight. I still have to bug them about the Anime SVOD service myself.
Vince McMahon was said to be "freaked out" after last week's "Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3" UFC special on Spike TV drew a 3.1 overall rating and a 4.3 for the final quarter hour featuring the actual Ortiz vs. Shamrock fight.