Apparently, the WWE operates with a sole purpose - to make Thomas Briggs look like an asshole.  Is that a bit much?  If you think it is, consider this: last year, in the TJR Staff’s 2013 predictions, not a single one of my predictions came true.  And after WWE’s big Network announcement last night, I’ve already gotten one of this year’s predictions wrong as well.

WWE, in what they claim was a historic announcement, FINALLY confirmed and gave details for the upcoming WWE Network.  And goddamit were those details good.  Here are some of the essential details:

  • Over the Top Network (think Netflix or Hulu Plus).
  • 24 hour live streaming.
  • Access to hundreds of thousands of hours of programming on demand.
  • Available on a variety of devices, including game consoles, Roku, and phones/tablets.

Here’s a great FAQ (courtesy ProWrestling.net) that should provide you with even more information. Some of the key things you'll want to know are as follows:

How much will a subscription to WWE Network cost?

A monthly subscription to WWE Network is $9.99 per month (plus tax where applicable) with a 6-month commitment.

How do fans purchase WWE Network?

To subscribe to WWE Network, fans should go to WWE.com beginning Monday, February 24 at 9 am ET.

What devices will WWE Network be available on?

WWE Network will be available on desktops and laptops via WWE.com. WWE Network will also be available through the WWE App on: Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices; Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy; iOS devices such as Apple iPad and iPhone; Roku streaming devices; Sony PlayStation® 3 and Sony PlayStation® 4; and Xbox 360. Availability on additional devices, including Xbox One and select Smart TVs, will follow this summer. For more information, go to wwe.com/devices.

Will WWE Network be available internationally?

Beginning Monday, February 24, WWE Network will only be available in the United States. WWE Network is scheduled to launch in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordics by the end of 2014/early 2015.

But wait, I haven’t even gotten to the best part!  In this year’s TJR Staff predictions, I stated:

One of the greatest reasons to want a potential WWE Network is the perceived change to their pay-per-view business.  If the WWE were to create a subscription service over the top network, they could eventually lure fans over by offering PPV’s on the Network for no additional cost!  And even if the Network costs $15 a month, that’s still a hell of a savings versus $45-$55 a month for one big event.  That of course assumes you pay for all PPVs.

But due to the inherent risk of launching an over the top network (it’s been speculated that one million subscribers are needed to turn a profit), the WWE will continue to make nice with In Demand and NOT change their PPV model.  Does it suck?  Sure.  But it’s the safe move.

Never have I been so pleased to be wrong.  Not only will the WWE Network provide access to all live pay-per-views at no extra charge, but the cost of the network itself is just $10, not my guess of $15.

I know we rely a bit too much on meme’s here at Thursday News Update, but here’s one for old time’s sake:

 

While there were certainly problems with WWE’s Network presentation itself - Triple H came off a bit hammy, John Cena was just terrible, and where was The Rock?! - I don’t think fans can be displeased with what the WWE Network will actually be.  In our opinions, WWE nailed pretty much everything we could’ve possibly asked for out of a WWE Network.

The over-the-top model is absolutely the right direction for WWE to go in.  It’s essentially the model popularized by Netflix Instant Streaming.  The WWE will release a Network app to a large number of devices.  On that app, you’ll be able to stream WWE’s twenty four hour a day programming, or select from a bevy of on demand content.  Because the Network is an app rather than a cable channel, WWE doesn’t have to deal at all with cable distributors.  Which may be the most beautiful detail of all.

Let’s not mince words, WWE’s big Network announcement was a huge deal.  The company itself billed the announcement as their biggest in company history.  And if the Network can deliver all that is promised, that could quite possibly be true.  

A successful WWE Network would give the company far more leverage in negotiations with NBC Universal.  It would also allow them to push whatever content they want, rather than acquiesce to the whims of a cable partner.  Most importantly, it would give them direct access to their fans wallets, making ticket and merchandise sales far more fluid and easy than ever before.

The WWE Network is a potential game changer.  And so far, fans have to be pleased with what’s been promised.  It’s now up to WWE to deliver on all of its promises. (WWE)

_________________________________________

In other news, Marty Jannetty also made a big announcement Wednesday night, and we have the exclusive scoop!  Quote Marty:

If anyone is going to the store, I’d really appreciate a pack of Pall Malls, Natty Ice, pretzels, and lotto scratchers.  Oh, and don’t forget my dignity.

We love you Marty.  Don’t ever change.

_________________________________________

WWE Diva Kaitlyn was granted her outright release from the company yesterday.  While details on why she decided to leave the company have yet to be divulged, a couple of post WWE tweets have teased an upcoming media project, possibly in collaboration with her fiance PJ Braun.  While Thursday News Update has always been somewhat indifferent to Kaitlyn, it’s nice to see a Diva walk away from the WWE knowing that she can do so much more elsewhere.  Women in WWE’s system don’t lack talent, but WWE lacks the drive to utilize their women.  It’s sad, but hopefully there will be a renewed interest in women’s wrestling once the WWE Network begins looking for new content. (SEScoops)

_________________________________________

Be sure to check out this week's episode of the SharpShooter Cast!  This week we not only talk about Old School Raw, but the WWE Network as well.  Give it a listen!

 

  • Aaron comes over just as Tom is finishing up with DDP Yoga.
  • Mythbusters Star Wars Special talk (and why Bobba Fett sucks).
  • A quick talk about San Diego sports.
  • Did Old School Raw live up to our lofty expectations?
  • Raw scores.
  • Ric Flair owns the building.
  • Too Cool's return was too cool.
  • Old School Raw = Father and Son(s) day at the office.
  • The absence of Ziggler and the severity of head injuries.
  • What match would we rather see? Lesnar vs Show, or Lesnar vs Henry?
  • Aaron's bad week.
  • A review of Raw's main event: CM Punk vs Roman Reigns.
  • Jake the Snake Roberts' big return.
  • Will WWE Network actually be announced this week?

​You can stream the show through this player:

 

And here's the Direct Download! (Right click and "Save Link As")

If you're interested in listening to more episodes, visit our little corner in the iTunes Store.  Be sure to leave us a rating!  Or, you can always click "More" on the above player, and listen to our entire catalog.  Pretty handy.

Finally, if you're like me and have a favorite app not made by Apple to play your podcasts (I love me some DOWNCAST for my iPhone, and iPP Podcast Player for my Android Tablet), here's the RSS Feed for your convenience: http://sharpshootercast.libsyn.com/rss

​_________________________________________

 

Written by Thomas and Aaron Briggs

Email Thomas HERE

Follow Thomas on Twitter!