September 23, 2019
WWE Network, the $9.95 monthly professional wrestling subscription streaming video service/app with 1.58 million subs, is reportedly rebooting the platform.
WWE’s YouTube channel touts more than 50 million free “subscribers.”
The entertainment service will soon offer WWE Network users a free option, in addition to two paid tiers, WWE co-president George Barrios told The Verge.
Barrios said the changes come as WWE’s relationship with Disney-owned BAMTech changed. The backend software provider, which also supported HBO Now, among other third-party streaming services, is now focused on the pending Disney+ service.
As a result, WWE has partnered with Endeavor Streaming and Massive Interactive for backend support.
“We made the decision to move off, but [Disney was] incredibly professional,” Barrios said. “[Disney Streaming Services president] Michael Paull and his team, I couldn’t speak higher of.”
The rebooted WWE Network will offer free videos exclusive to the WWE Network app. The basic subscription will feature free content, in addition to live pay-per-view events, on-demand and original content.
The yet un-priced premium option will offer additional content, in addition to free shipping on all merchandise shipments, among other features.
Barrios said the platform is finalizing a download option enabling users to stream content without access to Wi-Fi. The executive said all content would be streamed in 720p resolution, with forays into 4K resolution not panning out.
“4K, I think that will be driven more by the penetration of 4K devices and then 4K consumption,” Barrios said. “We’ve experimented with it, but I wouldn’t expect a significant amount of video content in 4K this year certainly.”