Friday, February 16, 2018

WWE Is Laying the Smackdown on the World

The market’s enthusiasm for WWE stems largely from its lucrative TV contracts, combined with its early success in direct-to-consumer streaming TV apps. In 2014 the company made a risky move, deciding essentially to cannibalize its traditional pay-per-view business. Instead of paying their cable companies one-time fees to see WWE’s marquee events—say, $44.99 for the Royal Rumble—fans would be encouraged to subscribe to a streaming video service, the WWE Network, and pay a monthly fee. After some early turbulence, the move is paying off. Roughly 1.5 million people now hand over $9.99 a month for the WWE Network, making it the 11th-most-popular streaming video service in the U.S., according to Parks Associates, and the second-most-popular, after Major League Baseball’s, in the “sports-related” category.

From the article "WWE Is Laying the Smackdown on the World" by Felix Gillette and Kim Bhasin.

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