WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 streaming network for wrestling content, will be launched live in the U.S. on Feb. 24, and will feature all 12 World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, live pay-per-view events.
The network’s debut was officially announced by Vince McMahon, WWE's chairman and CEO, at the CES 2014 in Las Vegas, and he was joined at the announcement by popular wrestlers John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H.
“Today is a historic day for WWE as we transform and reimagine how we deliver our premium live content and 24/7 programming directly to our fans around the world,” McMahon said. “WWE Network will provide transformative growth for our company and unprecedented value for our fans.”
The WWE Network will include "WrestleMania," which will be made available for $9.99 a month with a 6-month commitment. At launch, the network will include original programming, reality shows, classic wrestling matches, and more than 1,500 hours of archived programming, which will include uncut and uncensored video libraries of World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling.
The network will be available on desktops and laptops via WWE’s website. It will also be made available to fans through the WWE app on Android devices; iOS devices like Apple iPad and iPhone; Amazon’s Kindle Fire; Roku streaming devices; Sony PS3 and PS4; and Xbox360. The network will also be available on additional devices like Xbox One and select Smart TVs, after a few months of its launch.
The second-screen experience, which will be made available for all original programming and live events through the WWE App, is said to be similar to the interactive fan experience currently available for flagship TV programs “WWE Raw” and “WWE SmackDown.”
“We believe that this is the future,” Michelle Wilson, WWE chief revenue and marketing officer, reportedly said.
WWE Network will air 30-minute-long pre- and post-shows for WWE’s weekly cable programs “Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night SmackDown.” All episodes of original programming on WWE Network will be made available on demand immediately after they premiere.
The network is scheduled to launch in the U.K, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and in Scandinavian countries by the end of 2014 or early 2015.
“It’s going to change the way we do business around the world,” George Barrios, WWE’s chief strategy and financial officer, reportedly said.