Welcome to a special "Open Thread" featuring WWE's historic announcement of the WWE Network. I'll be updating the coverage right here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com throughout the night.
The stream is live as Michael Cole is introduced as the event host. Cole calls it one of the most important days in WWE's storied history. Today they take another step in how they bring entertainment to their fans. He puts over their fan base as the most passionate and touts the WWE Universe name. This is taking place from the Consumer Electronics Show. Vince McMahon is introduced.
Vince said the most complementary thing he could be called is a WWE fan. He said today is a great day to be a WWE fan and in a moment he's going to explain why. They role a video clip featuring important milestones of the company including celebrities.
After the video clip, Vince McMahon reiterates today is a great day to be a WWE fan because they're announcing the launch of the WWE Network. Vince introduces Michelle Wilson (WWE Chief Revenue Marketing Officer) to announce the network. She talked about Vince McMahon creating pay-per-view with the launch of Wrestlemania. The WWE Network will be an over-the-top 24/7 streaming service with live content that can be accessed on any device. She said it's never been done before.
Wilson says why over-the-top and why now? She said they're audience wants WWE everywhere and they're willing to pay for premium content. Wilson talked about the WWE audience viewing 5x more digital content than non-WWE fans and they're twice as likely to purchase a service like Hulu Plus. Wilson said it's going to include the following:
- All 12 live WWE pay-per-view events including Wrestlemania at no additional charge
- Live pre and post shows for Raw and Smackdown
- Soon a Live Daily Studio Show
- Video library including every single WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view, past years of Raw and Smackdown and more
- The price is $9.99 per month
- Will be available on desktops and laptops, iOs, Android, Xbox, Roku, Playstation and Kindle Fire.
- By early summer they'll add Xbox 1 and Smart TVs
- They also plan to launch WWE Network internationally by late 2014/early 2015
Stephanie McMahon is introduced. She says what is going to be on the WWE Network? If you're a fan of the Hogan era, the Attitude Era, a wrestling historian or someone discovering WWE for the first time, the WWE Network is for you. The WWE Network will launch pre and post shows for both Raw and Smackdown, peeking through the curtain of what goes on before and after they go on the air.
WWE NXT will also be available. They role a video clip of their talent development program.
They announce the premiere of WWE Legend's House including Roddy Piper, Tony Atlas, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and force them to live under one roof. They role a promotional clip for the series.
Stephanie introduces a new original series called Wrestlemania Rewind. She introduces the founding fathers of DeGeneration X - Shawn Michaels and Triple H. After a DX comedy segment, Stephanie introduces a new one-hour show called WWE Countdown.
The next show they announce is The Monday Night War: WWE vs. WCW. They joke because the teleprompter features an "s" on the end of the show. This leads to more commentary by Hunter and Shawn in rare form under their DX personas. Stephanie introduces Steve Austin.
Austin said if you would have told him back in the day it would all lead it this, he would have to you that you were crazy. He said when Vince called him and asked him to be here, he was a little ticked off because he was at his ranch in Texas on his winter vacation. However, after seeing all of this tonight, he's so happy to be here. He said tonight he actually gave Vince McMahon a big-ass hug. He said it's a great time to be a WWE fan and WWE loves their fans more than any other organization around. Steve said the best thing about this whole thing you get a chance to re-live the Attitude Era. v Austin put over reliving all of the past unedited and unlimited and he's very proud to be here today. He's diggin' it and that's the bottom line because Stone Cold Said so.
The $9.99/month price point for WWE Network is available with a 6-month commitment (the fine print).
Perkins Miller is announced and he is here to walk us through the WWE Network experience.
- The first step is to get a WWE Network account on WWE.com.
- If you have a WWE.com account, login and buy the WWE Network.
- Once you have the WWE Network, it's available on all your devices in one click.
The video will be 720p HD video quality throughout. You can setup reminders to watch and move seamlessly from live programming to archived programming. Not only will you be able to socially share the content you're watching but you can buy live event tickets, merchandise or view profiles of stars while you watch. Over 300 WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-views in the library. DX comes out with another entertaining bit with Miller, calling him Michael Bay.
Bob Bowman of MLB Advanced Media is announced. Bowman said when you think about WWE, you think about terrific content and that Vince McMahon has done it better than anyone for the last 30 years. Great content needs great distribution. He talks about Netflix and Hulu Plus doing it for years. He talks about how MLB.tv does it by streaming baseball game. WWE Network will always be on live 24/7 but you can also go back to the library.
John Cena is introduced and comes out in a suit. Cena said he'll be brief but the most important piece of information they can come away from this press conference. And that is when can they be part of the WWE Network? The WWE Network will go live after WWE Monday Night Raw on February 24, 2014 at 11:05 PM EST. He introduces a countdown clock that will count down the launch. Cena said he wants to pre-thank everyone in advance.
Cole comes back on the show to close the press conference.
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- For details on how we know with 100% certainty that WWE is announcing the WWE Network Wednesday night, click here.
- On hand for the announcement will be Vince McMahon, John Cena, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Confirmed WWE executives that will be on hand include Stephanie McMahon, Michelle Wilson and Perkins Miller.
- Triple H hyped the announcement in this week's kayfabe Michael Cole interview. Click here to watch it and read our recap.