Do you think the WWE Network has a chance to succeed? Because I really don’t, unless they move SmackDown and PPVs to the channel — and even then I’m not sure. We’ve seen sports leagues & college conferences eventually make networks profits (Big Ten, NFL, MLB, etc.) but it took a lot of time & most lost money the first year or two, as well as not being a publicly-traded companies that would have investors ticked off at early losses. They even had the advantage of having a surplus of live games to show. WWE can’t move Raw. It could move SmackDown, but do they risk effectively killing that audience off? I know they suggested moving the big PPVs to the WWE Network, but there’s no way the Royal Rumble or SummerSlam is going to be as profitable on a network as it is on PPV. The lesser PPVs, like Money in the Bank or Night of Champions, maybe. It just seems to me that the WWE is rushing into creating a network because it thinks it could solve their problems. But I see it as just the opposite. I don’t see too many folks willing to pay the WWE a HBO-like subscription fee each month and I don’t see too many cable operators lining up to push the WWE onto everyone’s cable bills. If the NFL Network took several years to get clearance with easily the #1 rated TV property out there, how is the WWE going to justify that when its top show gets a fraction of the Monday Night Football rating??
I think it has zero chance to succeed, unless they manage to piggyback off the NFL network in a package deal where cable companies are basically forced to carry it. But here’s the thing with WWE: 3 hours a week of WWE programming is basically my absolute limit at this point. I can take 2 hours of RAW and the hour of Vintage Collection, but anything more than that would have me clawing my own eyes out. Can you imagine hours of the day filled with crap like the Divas going on a road trip or old wrestlers in a house together?