Backstage News On WWE Network: Libraries Of Past Promotions, What’s Being Edited & More

– The 1,500 hours of archived WWE content being available when the WWE Network launches on February 24, is only representing about 1.5% of the entire WWE library.

WWE owns the tape libraries of over a dozen promotions (AWA, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Memphis, OVW, Deep South, World Class, Smoky Mountain, Stampede, among others) and that content will be rolled out on a weekly basis. They will also occasionally remove content, so it’s not likely that the entire catalog will be available at any one time.

– Footage from past WWE events that had been previously edited out of DVD releases will be airing a lot. Events featuring commentary by Jesse Ventura (royalty issues), ring announcing by Gary Michael Cappetta (legal reasons) and Chris Benoit (with a disclaimer) will all appear on the Network.

– Something which could prove to be a difficult issue is music. WWE executive Perkins Miller has said this will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but a lot of 80’s wrestling and ECW shows used mainstream hit songs, which could result in additional royalties being paid out to the artists.

(Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)

  • David Garcia

    I really don’t get the music industry. So I’m a Bengals fan and every game features liberal doses of “Welcome to the Jungle” in the stadium (and can be heard on TV) which is considered free use…but if Wrestler A uses it as a theme song on TV, then money must be exchanged? OK…

    Putting aside the legalities, if I’m i own the rights to a music catalog and somebody wants to play one of my songs every Monday night on national cable TV, essentially a nice advertisement (where maybe I’ve worked out a deal where WWE credits my song along with a little advert for the download of the song), then I’d actually be calling WWE and pushing songs, not demanding money up front. No wonder the music industry is dying…

    • drax

      you’re right….its all about sue this guy, sue that guy, royalties here and there… not to mention if the singer is now old…. they’d definitely sue wwe..

    • Quoth the Raven

      One correction: The stadium music isn’t “free use.” The Bengals (and all sports arenas) pay a license to play a catalog of songs.

      But yeah, music labels should be lining up to get their songs on WWE programming. Does anyone seriously think “Cult of Personality” would be in any station’s rotation now if it wasn’t for CM Punk? However, at the time that a lot of these programs were being developed and these deals were made, most people had never heard of -never mind negotiated- “digital distribution rights” (see: WKRP in Cincinnati)

      • David Garcia

        I stand corrected.