Since the launch of the WWE Network, the price has remained at a very low $9.99 per month (with a six month commitment), and has proven to be a great value. Even if you only have the Network for the PPV‘s, you’re still saving $540 a year by subscribing instead of paying full price for each of the 12 events. Add to that the backlog of events — WrestleMania Rewind, Legends House, a possibly returning Tough Enough, and of course NXT — and you’ve got one of the best values out there for your money if you’re a wrestling fan. With that extreme value, has come a price — a third of Vince McMahon‘s fortune, resulting in intensified discussions of changing the price plan for the WWE Network.
After the McMahons lost $350 million due to a less than projected number of subscribers and a lower than expected TV revenue contract extension, the WWE finds themselves in a quandary — do they keep the current price, risking further losses but keeping the fans happy, or hike up the price to increase profits and potentially drive the fans away?
They said at launch the Network may not stay at the $9.90 per month price and for fans to get in while they could, which acted not only as a marketing tool to lure fence sitters into buying in right away rather than waiting and risk losing out on the value, but also to test out and see what profits could be made using that price point.
Since launch, the Network is sitting around 700,000 subscribers, but a million was expected to be on board by WrestleMania 30. The executives of WWE have said on numerous occasions that they need a million subscribers just to break even on the investment, a number that hasn’t been sniffed yet. That figure still doesn’t include any international buys, as the original plans were to release it worldwide in 2015.
It’s being said that Thursday’s roster cuts were done so they could shore up some of the losses taken by the network, which would lead one to believe they’ll take any measures to recoup the $350+ million hit taken last month, and journey towards network profitability. The beginning of that is going to be the price increase, which sounds like it will be something along the lines of $11.99-12.99 per month with a six month commitment, and possibly offer a continued price point of $9.99 per month with a 12 month commitment. A few dollars more is a much better scenario than what fans initially assumed when the possibility was first brought up, thinking it would be closer to $14.99 or even more than doubling it at $19.99, but personally, I would be more than okay with a year long commitment at a lower price.
We should be learning whether or not this is actually going to happen by the end of this year or very early next year, as they’ll want to have a plethora of subscribers going into WrestleMania, for the sake of their investors and sponsors. If this turns out to be factual, I’ll be one of the first in line to lock myself into the year long option; the question is, how many will join me, and how many will just leave?