WWE Chief Financial Officer Kristina Salen has admitted that the company never intended for the WWE Network to become the next Disney+ or Netflix.
Upon its launch in 2014, the award winning WWE Network provided fans with everything needed to delve into the company’s illustrious past with almost every pay-per-view event in history available on-demand as well as episodes of retro television shows including WWF Superstars and WWF Wrestling Challenge to name just a few.
In order to notify fans about the launch and attract new subscribers, the company initially hired Hulk Hogan as a marketing ruse to appear sporadically on Raw and SmackDown to plug the monthly price and still to this day offer a free monthly trial for new patrons before charging the current $9.99/£9.99 fee.
Now, Kristina Salen has sat down with The Wall Street Journal to discuss the WWE Network and how they never aggressively poached fans because the idea was not to become the next Netflix or Disney+:
“I would argue against the idea that the WWE Network struggled to grow. From our perspective, we didn’t actively and aggressively go after subscribers in the way that a large, mass-audience streaming platform would.
First and foremost, it’s not our core competency to become Netflix, or even to become Disney+. The WWE Network by definition was going to be smaller than these mass-technology platforms. Because we’re not a technology company. We’re an entertainment company. From that perspective, the attraction of getting involved with another streaming partner is exactly as you described. It gives us access to a broader platform of folks within a premium tier.”
WWE Network will move to NBCU’s Peacock streaming service in the United States from March 18 in a move worth in excess of $1 billion. The switch will include a cheaper monthly price of $4.99 as well as access to all of Peacock’s other streaming services and material.
Credit for the interview: The Wall Street Journal
h/t for the transcription: Fightful