UPDATED – WWE Network reports 667,287 subscribers

April 7, 2014

WWE announced in a press release this morning that it has 667,287 subscribers to its network which launched this past February and “is well on its way to reaching its goal of 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014.”

UPDATED 9:05am PT – 4/7/14:  It looks like that investors are not impressed with the 667K  numbers according to Deadline.com and the sell off  is more than just investors capitalizing on the stock price.  Deadline states that at least one analyst predicted the sub number to be between 500K-800K on Friday.  The original expectation was that it was to be at 1M after Sunday’s big event.

The press release comes just one day after Wrestlemania 30 aired without major tech issues on its network.  The news appears positive for the company long term although short term WWE stock is taking a hit.  In morning trading Monday, the stock is down almost $4 as it appears that many investors are selling off the stock.

The WWE also announced that it broke the record for the Superdome (Mercedez-Benz or Silverdome if you are Hulk Hogan) as its highest grossing entertainment event for the venue.  The announced attendance was 75,167 for a gate of $10.9 million.

Payout Perspective:

UPDATE:  It looks like Wall Street is not impressed with the 667K announcement as it expected a higher number of subscribers.  The stock is taking a big hit as shares have gone done at least 20% today.  We will see how this number is spun as the WWE is set to announce a new rights fee agreement in the coming weeks.

The network announcement for its subscribers should be seen as a success as there were many concerned about tech issues that would scare many away.  However, there were few reported glitches on any platform for yesterday’s big event despite the fact it was likely the most watched day for the network as most WWE subscribers and many curious non-wrestling fans tuned in to see it.  Looking at this strategically, the timing of the announcement makes sense since one would think many signed up close to Wrestlemania to take advantage of the streaming as opposed to paying $70 on PPV.

The real test will be how (and if) the WWE can retain these subscribers.  Wrestlemania was the big carrot for the network this year and realistically a one-time thing.  How will the WWE continue to grow its subscribers to reach 1 million?

Based on this information, can we assume that UFC Fight Pass is having similar success?  While the UFC will not release any information, the speculation is that it is doing well with its digital network and since it is now available for international fans, it probably continues to grow its subscriber base.

10 Responses to “UPDATED – WWE Network reports 667,287 subscribers”

  1. BrainSmasher on April 7th, 2014 9:01 AM

    This is not good at all. They set 1 million as their break even point and 2 million as their goal. Now they will struggle to get a million with no chance of two million. This is one of those things about society that doesn’t make sense. I am not a wrestling fan. But the wwe network seems like an incredible deal that would be best for all PPV buys fans and bring in many casuals who didn’t like the price point of PPV’s. Everyone wins. Yet for some reason people just didnt accept it like logic dictates. This also could speak to the number of people who are set up to comfortable follow an event online. If not overall, atleast maybe in the WWE demographic.

  2. Champ on April 7th, 2014 9:29 AM

    How is this considered a failure when you are 2/3rds of the way to your goal after 42 days? It’s easy to make it over 1 million with more than 300 days left in the year and 3 major events left (summer slam, survivor series, MTB). In addition, the original programming and the library (the most valuable opponent in my estimation) will trickle in people slowly yet steady. The fact that Wrestlemania is an annual event that can incorporate several different brands for cross-promotional purposes and Hollywood stars / celebrities can pop up every now and then they will always a buzz that will simply dip and rise depending on the time of year. The FIGHTPASS plan could take some cues from a marketing standpoint, it needs more social involvement and bluechip brand association

  3. Sampson Simpson on April 7th, 2014 10:41 AM

    UFC didnt even break 100,000 subscriptions by comparison.

    Yes, the end is near

  4. Random Dude on April 7th, 2014 12:15 PM

    “This is one of those things about society that doesn’t make sense. I am not a wrestling fan. But the wwe network seems like an incredible deal that would be best for all PPV buys fans and bring in many casuals who didn’t like the price point of PPV’s.”

    If people get used to not purchasing a product for a long time, a “good deal” is not necessarily going to entice them to start purchasing something they already don’t miss. That is the risk one takes when they put restrictions or barriers to access to a product. VIP/restricted-access only works as long as you are hot and popular.

  5. Dave on April 7th, 2014 2:33 PM

    I don’t get why WWE is always on MMApayout.com but this number is very impressive

  6. Sampson Simpson on April 7th, 2014 9:44 PM

    WWE is the UFC’s daddy.

    Thats why they are reported on.

    The biggest UFC events are always former WWE stars

  7. Dave on April 8th, 2014 7:04 AM

    When did Liddell, GSP, Anderson, Weidman, etc. wrassle in WWE? Anyone who is over the age of 16 and watches WWE is a fag

  8. jame on April 8th, 2014 12:38 PM

    dave..i know you are but what am i

  9. Matt on April 8th, 2014 6:00 PM

    Streaming video is the future, but like all future technology there is a learning curve to it. Many people are not comfortable with it, nor do they possess the knowledge to view the streams on their television. Nor do they understand it.

    Many people still buy DVD’s even though you can stream movies, just like it took a few years for DVD’s to take the place of VHS.

    With 667k subscribers it will be interesting to see how much that affected PPV buys, both domestically and international (even though the Network is not available legally internationally).

  10. MMA and UFC live news | WWE Network well on way to 1 million subscribers, is UFC Fight Pass next? - on April 19th, 2014 3:55 PM

    […] MMA Payout comments: […]

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