WWE Announces The WWE Network – Full Report
Join WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, John Cena, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and more for WWE’s groundbreaking announcement, Live from Las Vegas!
Tonight’s press conference kicks off with Michael Cole welcoming us. Cole introduces Vince McMahon and out he comes. Vince says first and foremost he’s a WWE fan. He leads us to a video package.
The video touts many of WWE’s successes, their programs in the community, partnerships with celebrities and lots more. Vince says today is a good day to be a WWE fan because we are… drumroll… announcing the launch of the WWE Network. There’s an applause from the crowd. Vince introduces Michelle Goldstein to explain the Network.
Michelle talks about how Vince launched WrestleMania I and changed WWE back in the 1980′s, giving birth to the pay-per-view business. Michelle says WWE is here once again to change how TV is viewed with an even more revolutionary move. She says the Network promises to be the most innovative network in history. She says they are literally going over the top. There will be a 24/7 streaming service with scheduled programs, live content and on-demand content. She says this has never been done before. Why over the top and why now? She says WWE’s fanbase shows they want WWE content any time, any where and on any device. Also, fans are willing to pay for premium content. She talks about the large subscriber base WWE has and talks about how fans consume a lot of online content. She says WWE fans are twice as likely to purchase online platforms like Netflix and Hulu Plus. All 12 live WWE pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania, will be shown on the Network. There will be groundbreaking original series, in-ring shows, live pre and post shows for RAW and SmackDown, reality shows and a new live in-studio show. The Network will include every single WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view on demand. Past years of RAW and SmackDown, and much more will also be available on demand. She says they will continue to add more content every month. Michelle then announces it will be just $9.99 per month.
The Network will be available on the WWE App, WWE.com, desktops, Xbox 360, Amazon Kindle, Playstation 3 and 4, Roku. Soon it will be available on Xbox One and smart TV’s. Eventually it will be launched in the UK, Canada and other countries. She estimates by late 2014 or early 2015. She shows us the interface of the Network and it looks similar to the recent Netflix re-design. Stephanie McMahon is out next.
Stephanie says no matter what kind of fan you are, this will be the destination. Stephanie talks about the new pre and post shows for RAW and SmackDown. There will be a one-hour weekly NXT show. She cuts to a video package of NXT and Full Sail University, where they tape that show at. Stephanie announces the premiere of WWE Legends House and talks about the show that was filmed previously. She shows us a video preview. There will be a new original series called WrestleMania Rewind. She shows us a video preview. It will be a show looking back at the different WrestleMania events with various personalities involved discussing it. Stephanie says the Network is also about fun. She introduces Shawn Michaels and Triple H to an applause.
Triple H and Shawn come out with their DX gear, DX theme and glowsticks. They do some comedy and Triple H talks Shawn into not taking his pants off. Stephanie interrupts and announces WWE Countdown, a new one-hour series that lets fans rank and discuss a variety of topics. Triple H asks her if that’s how she’s going to announce it? She tells them to do better. They joke with her and have her assume the position to do the standard DX intro for the Countdown show. Triple H jokes this is the first time he’s “done it” with a woman. Stephanie apologizes and says this is very embarrassing. Triple H says let’s get ready for WWE Countdown and if you’re not down with that, watch this. We get a preview for the Countdown show. The show will count down things like best catchphrase, craziest villain and more. Shawn says he would have stayed on the couch if he had something like the Network when he was a kid. More comedy from the three. Stephanie talks about Vince becoming a permanent character on TV many years ago. She says behind the scenes, Vince was fighting for his company. She plugs the Monday Night War. Triple H says “Wars” and HBK and Stephanie cut him off, saying there has only been one war. Sounds like a jab at TNA. Monday Night War: RAW vs. Nitro is another new show for the Network. Lots of comedy here. Triple H talks about how crazy the WCW vs. WWE days were. He says it made for some epic TV and we get a preview for the show.
Stephanie introduces Steve Austin next. He comes out to a big reaction. Austin asks for everyone to give him a hell yeah. Stephanie throws one at him. Austin talks about how proud he is to be here and how fun it was hanging out in the back. He says it’s a great time to be part of WWE and a fan of WWE. Stephanie shows us another video package for the Network. Vice President of Digital Media Perkins Miller is out next. Miller shows us some of the technical aspects of the Network, the interface, how to do certain things and generally use the service.
DX comes back out and they mock Michael Bay’s infamous CES presentation. HBK and Triple H show us that even they can operate the Network interface. More comedy from DX and Miller. Miller and DX do the DX pose to end their segment. MLB Advanced Media CEO and President Bob Bowman comes out next. He talks about how WWE worked with MLB.tv to get the Network going. Miller also gives Vince big props for everything he’s done. Bowman says they are proud to be working with the Network. John Cena is out next. He says he will be brief. Cena talks about the Network going live on February 24th at 11:05am EST. Cena shows us a countdown clock that will be seen on WWE TV for the next 47 days. Cena thanks the WWE Universe in advance for making history with them. Cena plugs WrestleMania XXX on the Network. Cena says WWE understands they do not exist without the fans. We go back to Michael Cole. He thanks everyone for joining us and says goodnight.