DirecTV not happy with WWE Network

January 10, 2014

LA Times reports that DirecTV may no longer carry WWE PPVs as a result of its announcement that it is launching a new over the top network.

Pay-TV distributors and the WWE usually split the cost to consumers 50-50 on PPVs thus making it a “solid revenue source,” according to the Times article.  WWE contends that it will continue to air its PPVs for those unable or unwilling to adapt to the WWE Network but DirecTV sees that as cutting into its revenues.

Via LA Times:

“Clearly we need to quickly re-evaluate the economics and viability of their business with us, as it now appears the WWE feels they do not need their PPV distributors,” DirecTV said in a statement, adding that the audience for its events “has been steadily declining, and this new low-cost competitive offering will only accelerate this trend.”

The WWE stated that it hopes to continue its relationship with its distributors and allow “fans the choice between two offerings.”

Payout Perspective:

Although we’ve heard nothing but praises for the WWE Network, we get the first bit of criticism from one of the company’s working relationships.  From DTV’s perspective, it’s obvious that the new network is going to cut into the revenue it expects from the WWE product especially with Wrestlemania, its highest purchased and priced PPV, on the network this year.  The WWE would like to get both bites of the apple with it receiving revenue from the network and those purchasing it via traditional PPV.  Will other distributors follow DirecTV’s cue in discontinue offering WWE PPVs.  We shall see how this turns out.

8 Responses to “DirecTV not happy with WWE Network”

  1. BrainSmasher on January 10th, 2014 4:06 PM

    I blind man could have seen this coming. we knew from the UFC dealing that they cant do what they want with PPV’s and its pricing. I think this will be interesting to see play out. Direct TV could be fighting for its life so to speak. IF they lose WWE. How many cord cutters will that create who will just drop direct TV? We know the UFC wants to drop them eventually too. Can Direct TV afford to lose the PPV sports industry? They would make money keeping WWV available. But they are going to make a stance and try to fight wwe network for all their worth. I look for a court battle at some point too!

  2. JKT on January 10th, 2014 5:50 PM

    WWE is abandoning PPV.
    They’d like for DirecTV and the cable companies to keep selling the PPVs to older customers who find streaming confusing, but WWE knew launching the WWE Network might kill the old PPV business.

    It was a risk they thought worth taking obviously.

  3. AK on January 11th, 2014 4:16 PM

    Hahaa, screw em. It was basically all free money they were getting anyway, and now they feel entitled to it. They’re prolly bluffin anyway. So instead of getting 7.5M or whatever on something that gets 300k buys, they wanna get nothing? That type of thinking is like dumb Democrat thinking with taxes.

  4. BrainSmasher on January 11th, 2014 8:53 PM

    I agree AK. But the PPV providers are seeing their business model crumble before their eyes. This is an attempt to save it. To be honest it is the only chance they have. WWE was trying to easy into this network the best they could. While taking as little risk as possible. As long as the current PPV methods were in place they didn’t risk losing any sales. Regardless of the success of the Network. Now if PPV providers pull the plug. WWE has all their eggs in one basket and in a All or nothing situation. If the Network doesn’t take off and is successful. They don’t have anything to fall back on. This would put a TON of risk on the WWE.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this power play by DTV worked. WWE is in the network to deep to back out. But I bet their reach a deal that keeps some of the PPV’s off the Network.

  5. AK on January 12th, 2014 4:56 PM

    Yes they are in panic mode over their monopoly on PPVs. Just like the internet did to newspapers and Netflix did to blockbuster and the TV networks. Only a matter of time the UFC follows suit, though I don’t see how boxing would have any incentive to do so.

  6. BrainSmasher on January 12th, 2014 7:38 PM

    I agree. The funny thing is. Boxings structure really screws them again. They cant do this if they want to. I do think it could help boxing too. Their big draws do well on PPV. But PPV only works for a couple guys. Most boxers don’t do very well at all. Something like this packaged with big boxers. would get people paying for fights other than just those 2-3 guys. But the problem is Boxing is so fractured that they could never do this if they had to. More than likely it would be the promoters to do it like Golden Boy. But boxing fans would have to subscribe to 4-5 promoters to follow boxing. Showtime and HBO doesn’t have the incentive to do it. Even then it would be split.

  7. janard hartley on January 30th, 2014 10:30 AM

    I like for directv TO GET WWE NATWORK ARE I will get directv cut off

  8. ronald casner on March 29th, 2014 2:56 PM

    i was so glad when wwe lanched there network and there pay for veiw on there own network was just 9.99 a mo. i was ready to join but i wanted to send a money order for the 6 mos to wwe network i wrote them a letter asking them if i could got no answer if direct tvcarry there network ill go to who ever carries it i have been with directv for along time so if they dont carry the wwe network nill go to who ever does ty for reading this

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