WWE Network figures

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WWE Network figures

Post by Adam D on Fri 31 Oct 2014, 10:38 am

I read an article this morning about the number of subscribers for this and was quite shocked.

Being a professional journalist, I have totally not researched these figures but just wanted to see whether you all felt it was a success or not.

Apparently, the worldwide subscribers number at the moment is 731,000.

Note that on set up in the US, 700k subscribed so since the launch in other countries, only a further 31,000 net have joined.

Still, £9.99 x 731k is still $7.3m per month. Is that good enough? How much have they lost in PPV buys?

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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Hero on Fri 31 Oct 2014, 11:03 am

Well it'd help if it actually launched in this country, hard to boost the numbers if it's not ruddy available.

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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Prometheus on Fri 31 Oct 2014, 11:06 am

I've not time to delve through the figures right now.  Maybe someone else will do that and save me the time, maybe I'll find time to do it.  Because it does genuinely interest me.  I am firmly in the position that to me as a consumer the Network is a balanced trade-off that I am wary of.  On the + side it represents value for money in consuming PPVs and catching up with archive material.  But I do worry that there is a cheapening of the PPV product from a large ticket item to a 9.99 item.

Anyway, back to your question.  
- I think the word back around launch was that the network needed around a million subscribers to break even.  So, we seem some good distance short of that.
- As you present your figures, I'm not convinced you are right that only 31,000 have joined from other countries.  As it does not seem to include the fact that a number of the 700,000 original subscribers a number may not have renewed since their 6 month contract was completed.

- I think traditionally about 70% of the WM PPVs have been US bought.  So as a first cut you would hope for a similar split on the network.  As I don't follow its roll-out closely I don't really know its penetration and potential lack of features in large markets like Canada and UK.

- From memory the last few WMs have done over 1M PPV buys.  So if we say it is a $60 price.  That is 60M.  Add on other PPVs and you would expect WWE to be down on this take.  But then I don't know how much of that revenue they had to share, and on the other hand I also don't know how much costs there are associated with the Network.  You really have to build all factors in to do an apples and apples comparison.

EDIT: I've read one of those reports and those overseas figures look right. Very low, aren't they?
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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Dr Gregory House MD on Sat 01 Nov 2014, 12:35 am

I'm pretty sure this is a disaster on WWE's part, they've cannibalised their PPV model in return for a network that is currently around 600K subscriptions below the break even point, I doubt even rolling it out in the UK will help that much

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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by kingraf on Sun 02 Nov 2014, 10:42 am

Maybe it hasn't gone as planned, but are things that bad? The last three Pay Per views average 100k buys, which is of course down from previous years, but when dovetailed with a guaranteed 730k buys from the network, must be pretty decent business? I'd assume the WWE gets a much greater share of advertising revenue on the network as well. TV ratings themselves haven't gone down too badly, so they must still be in the vicinity regarding income generated on the telly. I don't know, as I don't understand the process which the E has gone through to achieve this, nor do I understand their precious PPV split with host networks.
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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Prometheus on Sun 02 Nov 2014, 3:33 pm

I think there is also a more general picture that wrestling as an industry is not at a high point. So, to some extent it doesn't matter how you package the product, e.g. via PPV or network, if that product is currently not something that is selling so well.

It seems that Q1 2015 will be when there is some real data to work through. If I understand their offering going forwards then we will have:
- Free November sign ups, how many will have churned over since then?
- UK roll out
- Monthly contracts, with no commitment this really reduces the price of PPVs, and again what will the churn rate be?

I still ask myself, if I were not that into wrestling would I spend what is a similar amount to Netflix, Spotfire or PlayStation Plus on a dedicated wrestling product? Particularly when WWE has 5 hours (or more) of free product every week. And in some ways, that TV product is a competitor. As they want to keep viewing high for that they recently gave away in a steel cage on Raw, was Cena vs Orton in a cage so much different? Or they had their top draw Rock turning up on Raw, is that really better than teasing that he'd be involved in HiaC when he could have done the same thing and IMO that would create much more buzz for the Network product.
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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sun 02 Nov 2014, 4:36 pm

Raw isn't really a competitor, because they wont get Network or PPV buys without a good product in the week.

I'd pay £6.25 a month for two of their WWE programmes: the Rivalries one and Monday Night Wars. You can get them online for free, but the quality of stream isnt as good

Bit of a blow that PS4 doesnt seem to have it though

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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Samo on Sun 02 Nov 2014, 5:01 pm

WWE need to change RAW back to 2 hours and drop Superstars and Main Event. Its total over saturation - thats how you end up with the same midcard faces/heels facing each other over years and not going anywhere. Increase the quality of the product on RAW and SmackDown and they stop being competitors and become a taste of what you can get on the Network.

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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Prometheus on Sun 02 Nov 2014, 6:36 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Raw isn't really a competitor, because they wont get Network or PPV buys without a good product in the week.

It is and it isn't though to me. I quite agree that you have to get people interested in the product, but I personally feel there is a lot of premium quality product provided for free on Raw, which I can imagine being enough for many consumers.

To me Raw is a standalone product and the PPVs / Network events are a complementary addition to this. And I understand why that is done because you want good viewing figures and the lucrative TV deal, merchandising, PPV buy rate, etc that you expect that to deliver. But if my ambition were only to sell the Network, I'd use Raw as much more of a teaser to PPVs / the Network product. IMO this is much more how it was done in the past. To me, getting this right is a trade-off and that is why I view Raw as a competitor to their premium product.
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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Statto00 on Tue 04 Nov 2014, 1:17 pm

I think the "extra" 31,000 foreign subscribers number is low because those people in other countries who really wanted the product were probably in the initial 700,000 subscribers anyway, using a VPN. Whistle Since the NFL season started again (and I subscribe to GamePass too) I've hardly had any time to watch any WWE Network, but as I don't have Sky the £6.25 a month is worth it just for the PPVs.

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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Prometheus on Tue 04 Nov 2014, 2:28 pm

That would be quite worrying for WWE if they are still planning to roll out to big territories like UK, Germany and Japan and they find that their hard core fans in those regions are already signed up.
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Re: WWE Network figures

Post by Statto00 on Tue 04 Nov 2014, 4:10 pm

Seriously though, if you're in the UK and want the WWE Network, what's stopping you?

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Re: WWE Network figures

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