There continues to be a lot of rumors and speculation about the WWE Network in the United Kingdom. WWE has announced two launch dates for the service in the U.K. (October 1st and November 3rd) but have missed both. In fact, the company announced less than a half hour prior to launch on Monday the WWE Network “has been delayed until further notice.”
The only official response from WWE other than the aforementioned statement is a video apology from Vince McMahon currently airing before live events in the United Kingdom. We recapped the apology at this link and while Vince apologized, no specifics for the delay were given.
Some are reporting that Sky representatives are telling customers the WWE Network will launch as a traditional Pay-TV channel, not as an Over the Top service. We’re unable to confirm that. The WWE Network is a Pay-TV channel in Canada and Vince McMahon stated they would be open to doing that in other markets if the deal was right. Any deal for that to happen would have to be one that included the company’s core programming (such as Raw and Smackdown) along with the WWE Network. Given Sky is WWE’s TV partner in the UK, the idea that the service could exist on a traditional platform (like it does on Rogers Communications systems in Canada) is feasible.
Wrestling News World reader Graham Ward messaged Sky customer support and they sent him the following message:
The WWE Network UK release wasn't delayed by Sky, that I can assure you. It would best if you were to contact WWE directly regarding any questions you may have on the WWE Network as this is not our product.
This lines up with an earlier report we filed here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
In conclusion, Sky is telling customers two different things. They’re saying the WWE Network will launch as a traditional Pay-TV channel and they are also telling customers they have nothing to do with the delays and to ask WWE. WWE is just airing an apology from Vince McMahon but not giving specifics.