The New York Post is reporting that Vince McMahon has not shut the door on adopting a premium cable-TV channel model for the WWE Network in the United States.
According to their report, McMahon is keeping a close eye on the company's partnership with Rogers Communications in Canada -- the only place where the WWE Network is available in such form -- to see what distribution is like. You can read their report at this link.
Richard Reacts: The nugget dropped in this report suggests -- or at least implies -- that Vince McMahon wouldn't be opposed to the WWE Network as a traditional cable-TV channel in the United States. The service is currently available everywhere except Canada (in the markets that it has been released) as an over the top service, meaning it's available on smartphones, tablets and through use of the Internet rather than traditional distribution. While I'm not by any means questioning the validity of this report, WWE stated publicly the reason the WWE Network was released as a pay-TV channel in Canada is because Rogers made them an offer they couldn't turn down. These were Vince McMahon's words, not mine. Below is an excerpt of an investor asking WWE about they went the traditional route for the WWE Network in Canada in July's conference call:
A caller asked why WWE chose to go this route in Canada and it seems to be a step away from what they’re doing in the US. Vince said they’re Canadian and they look at things a little different. He doesn’t know if they’re going to do that anywhere else. It could [happen in other markets] when you combine both their core programming and the WWE Network. Barrios wouldn’t discuss the different economics with the Rogers Communications deal. Vince explained it was an offer they couldn’t turn down.