When WWE announced they would be releasing the number of subscribers to the WWE Network the day after WrestleMania XXX, wrestling insiders were bullish in their optimism. Many people anticipated the WWE Network to exceed one million subscribers. When the numbers were officially announced today, the disappointment on Wall Street was palpable.
WWE officially announced 667,287 subscribers for the WWE Network. While the number still sounds impressive, people in the industry were expecting (and hoping for) a lot more. The surprisingly low number led to a severe drop off in WWE stock, which fell $6.07 to $21.97 per share as of this morning. WWE stock was worth more than $30 per share just a few weeks earlier.
It’s obvious that speculation was too high, but it’s not the end of the world. WWE put a positive spin on events, claiming that they’re well on their way to their goal of one million subscribers. They also stated that the WWE Network is the fastest growing digital subscription service. Time will tell on that one.
To be fair, the number of subscribers can’t help but increase. While there may be some drop-off after the initial six months expire, they will gain more than they lose as the service improves and people gain confidence in the product.
Plus, we must take into consideration that the service will soon be available in many other countries. WWE states that the Network will be available in Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordics by the end of 2014/beginning of 2015. With all this in mind, it’s hard to envision WWE falling short of their goal. In fact, they will likely drastically exceed it.
Still, the Wall Street tumble isn’t exactly a positive and it shows that the company still has a lot of work to do. We’ll know a lot more about the Network and the impact it has on the business as time goes on.