Good news, fake sports fans: soon you can catch The Rock, Hulk Hogan and ”Stone Cold” Steve Austin 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The WWE announced on Thursday that it is launching its own wrestling network on Feb. 24, becoming the latest sports-based, around-the-clock network alongside the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. Unlike the major sports leagues, which enjoy carriage on major cable and satellite carriers, the WWE Network will be a streaming service starting at $9.99 a month with a six-month commitment, and will feature all 12 WWE pay-per-view matches. The network will also be available through the WWE app on tablets and gaming devices such as PlayStation and Xbox, the Associated Press reports.
Until now, the WWE has mainly been seen on WWE Raw, a three-hour show on Monday nights. The Jan. 6 episode of Raw garnered about four-and-a-half million viewers for the three-hour show on USA Network, the AP reports, despite going up against the BCS Championship game.
The WWE also features big events for $50-a-pop on pay-per-view, and the company says about one million homes buy two to three PPV programs a year. Still, the WWE is looking to expand outside of its traditional broadcasting models. ”I’m just not convinced the pay-per-view platform is in it for the long term. It’s not the best consumer experience,” WWE chief revenue and marketing officer Michelle Wilson said.