DirecTV survey about WWE Network
February 9, 2013
The Wrestling Observer reports that DirecTV has sent out surveys to its viewers as to whether it would be interested in the WWE Network.
The Observer (subscription required) notes that the new network would be airing 11 of the 12 PPVs a year of the WWE. WrestleMania, the biggest PPV of the year for the WWE, will remain exclusive via PPV.
The price points given were: $12.99, $14.99, $16.99, $19.99, $24.99 and $29.99. The survey asked whether subscribers would subscribe and how much would they be willing to spend.
The news that DirecTV is putting out feelers on whether it would offer the WWE Network is surprising considering its recent troubles in negotiating carriage deals with the Longhorn Network, the Pac 12 Network and several regional sports networks. It recently shut down its NASCAR Hot Pass offering and there are rumors that it may allow its exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket deal to lapse after the 2014 season. (h/t: Sports Business Journal, subscription required)
DirecTV’s survey may be nothing more than that and we may not be any closer for the WWE Network launching. Of course, we will see what the WWE says on February 28th when its quarterly earnings are released. Investors and analysts will continue to press about a network that was promised last year.
As for DirecTV, it has taken a critical look at the marketplace and has drawn lines in the sand when it comes to sports network carriage deals. DirecTV has determined that certain networks are not worth the amount it would cost to carry for its subscribers. Set upon this backdrop, it would be a surprise that the WWE Network would be offered by DirecTV to its subscribers. The prices listed in the survey are steep to add to a cable bill. Right now, HBO is the most expensive premium channel at $15.99. It would be hard to imagine anyone (outside of a diehard WWE fan) would subscribe to the WWE Network for a price over $14.99.