Fellow Vox site The Verge has an in-depth interview with WWE Co-President George Barrios about the company’s plans for their streaming service.
WWE Network recently switched from its initial platform created by Disney-owned BAMTech, and launched a revamped product with new partners Endeavor Streaming and Massive Interactive. The transition to WWE Network 2.0 hasn’t been completely smooth, something Barrios acknowledges. It also didn’t feature the big, splashy announcement a lot of past, present and potential subscribers are waiting for - a premium tier.
Barrios says it’s coming. But he doesn’t mention when, how much it will cost, or what exactly it will contain beyond “more”. He’s more specific about a free tier which will make the Network the place to go for things currently available elsewhere online. And if the premium level comes at the same time or soon after the free one, it could be soon.
Here’s some of what the Co-President had to say about Network tiers:
Another wish list item Barrios discussed is the ability to download programs to watch offline. It’s not clear if that will be tied to a tier, but it’s on the radar. WWE’s hoping to get all those offerings to market within a year:“What’s coming here soon, in weeks and not months, is the beginning of integration of our free content with our paid content. It’ll be one integrated experience, and what content you can access just depends on what level member you are.
We think there’s also an opportunity to super-serve our most passionate Network subscribers with a premium tier that’ll bring together more content for them, more features for them, and also integrating some of our other non-video services like our commerce — potentially integrating something like free shipping, bringing together our digital ticketing efforts in there. It becomes the one place to experience everything WWE.”
The whole interview is worth a read if you’re interested in this side of the company’s business, for any reason. Barrios also touches on 4K (not a priority), how they’re trying to stop YouTube views from hurting ratings without sacrificing online engagement, and even has something to say about competition from AEW (just bring it, more or less).“Even better performance, bring back the features that couldn’t be there at launch, bring new features like Download To Go, get both tiers up and running. If by next SummerSlam we’ve done all that, we’re going to feel awesome.”
Check it out here. And look for more details on a premium Network tier... soon, I guess?