We have learned more details on WWE’s new multi-year agreement with Hulu. Basically, WWE had been “dragging their feet” and Hulu was about to walk away from the negotiating table if WWE didn’t commit to something. Ultimately, the two sides agreed to a scaled down arrangement for a much lower licensing fee that would still allow WWE to pursue the WWE Network.
As previously reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, WWE was trying to play YouTube and Hulu against each other as well as “play chicken” with the cable and satellite providers. One observer says they could have gotten burned bad but didn’t. Hulu wasn’t happy with the games and took a “now or never” position, which forced WWE’s hand.
With that being stated, there is nothing new on clearances for the WWE Network as the company continues to struggle on that front. Vince McMahon has thought about trying to launch the network in Europe first as they’ve had more luck with television providers across the pond. If they go that route, there has been talk of launching an ad campaign to urge viewers in the United States to put pressure on their providers to launch the WWE Network domestically.
In terms of a timetable, this plan would hopefully see the WWE Network launch in some form in Europe by Wrestlemania XXIX with hopes of launching in the United States by the end of 2013. They could still launch the network this year if they were willing to launch in a very select portion of the United States, which obviously would not be a good idea.