Major changes may be coming to the WWE Network, and to the company’s model for streaming live events as a whole.
During Thursday afternoon’s conference call with investors, Vince McMahon addressed potential “transformative” options for the streaming service, including selling broadcast rights for their pay-per-view events to interested third parties.
McMahon confirmed that WWE has had talks with other significant OTT streaming platform providers, which he specifically referred to as “the majors”.
While details are scarce, the largest OTT providers in the United States include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Now and CBS All Access, among others.
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WWE shifting the streaming of some or all of their major live events off of the WWE Network would, for the second time since 2014, signal a drastic shift in the pay-per-view model. In 2019 the Network finished with just 1.42 million subscribers, down 7% from Q4 2018.
This is not the only option the company has, currently. While talks with OTT providers are ongoing and may continue, WWE has also been in the works on a second, premium paid tier of the streaming service for quite some time.
Reports have previously indicated that WWE would use the new tier to add content from indie promotions under the company umbrella, as well as key house shows (they have already tested this) and additional content.