The WWE Network will be free in all markets in November. The company announced their third quarter earnings on Oct. 30, and revealed that they have not yet hit their subscription goal for the WWE Network.
As of Sept. 30, there are 731,000 active subscribers to the network, which is still 300,000+ short of their goal. The company needs around 1.5 million subscribers to enter into the black. In terms of numbers, WWE announced that,
“WWE Network added 31,000 subscribers in the quarter, representing a 4% increase from June 30, and reached 731,000 subscribers at quarter-end,” the report read. “Subscriber growth reflected the acquisition of 286,000 subscribers, which was 71% above the gross subscriber additions in the period between April 7 (the day after WrestleMania) and June 30 (WWE Network added 182,000 gross subscribers during the April 1- April 6 period, which included WrestleMania). Through September 30, WWE Network had attracted approximately 971,000 unique subscribers with 75% of these subscribers active as of that date.”
The company will offer the WWE Network for free in all markets beginning Nov. 1. Their hopes is that this will bring more eyes to the over-the-top streaming platform, and may pull in new fans that will eventually subscribe in December. The company also announced that there will be no more six-month commitments, and subscribers can pay $9.99 a month, per-month, from this point forward.
WWE’s corporate site issued the following press release in regards to the free month of service coming in November.
STAMFORD, Conn., October 30, 2014 – Much like other subscription businesses including Netflix and Hulu Plus, WWE® (NYSE: WWE) will be offering:
• November For Free: New subscribers will receive WWE Network free of charge for the entire month of November – including Survivor Series on Sunday, November 23.
• New Simplified Price Plan: WWE Network will be available for $9.99 per month with no commitment and the ability to cancel at any time.
“We are excited to offer new WWE Network subscribers the month of November free to experience all of our live programming, explore thousands of hours of video-on-demand content, and watch Survivor Series, one of our most popular events,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “Our research combined with best practices in digital subscription businesses affirms our belief that a simple, single price plan will help us continue to grow WWE Network’s subscriber base.”
WWE Network is a one-of-a-kind experience for fans that has been met with critical acclaim.
• Grantland’s Bill Simmons said WWE Network is “something truly significant” and “I feel like I’m stealing money from Vince McMahon, actually. Wait, I’m stealing money from Vince McMahon.”
• Yahoo! Sports said, “All signs point to WWE having a championship product on their hands.”
• USA Today said, “It’s a no-brainer for even casual viewers from a consumer standpoint.”
WWE Network features 24/7 scheduled programming, all 12 pay-per-view events LIVE and the most comprehensive video-on-demand library with more than 2,600 hours of content, including every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view, all for $9.99 per month with no commitment and the ability to cancel any time. WWE Network programming includes groundbreaking original programming, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and more. The U.S. English language version of WWE Network is available on an over-the-top basis in more than 170 countries and territories.
Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to subscribe online by going to WWE.com and clicking on the WWE Network button on the top right corner of the navigation bar.
Good move by WWE. This will being new eyes to the service. The question is, how many will come, and how many will stick?