WWE Shelve Plans For WWE Network Premium Tier

WWE have long talked up the possibility of a premium tier for their flagship WWE Network. It now seems those plans have been shelved.

Credit: WWE

Since the launch of WWE Network in February 2014 through to 1st June this year, the WWE Network has consisted of only one tier, famously priced in the USA at $9.99.

This changed last month with the launch of a free tier that offered a limited number of classic PPVs and network programming, designed to act as a sales tool to convert on the shelf customers to subscribe to the paid tier.

For a number of years, WWE have talked about rumoured plans for a premium tier of the product that could involve exclusive programming, including content from independent companies such as Progress Wrestling and Evolve.

However, in their recent annual shareholders meeting, a key WWE executive revealed that this development of the network is off the table for now.

Asked specifically in a shareholders Q&A about monetising the Network further, WWE interim CFO Frank Riddick III had the following to say:

Payment tiers at this time, we do not believe the development of a premium tiered content strategy is the optimum approach for maximizing Network subscription value. In the near term, we’re focused on leveraging the free version that we just spoke about to enable subscribers to sample our content more easily, develop local currency pricing in select international markets in global currency, as we said, and further develop our advertising capability.”

Whilst this will be a blow to some, more interestingly, it seems to suggest a distinct change in strategy from WWE with regards to their VOD platform. Will we continue to see investment in key programming to drive subscriptions? Or will WWE be happy with the status quo for the time being?

Thank you to Wrestlenomics for the transcription contained in this report.

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