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5 Ways the WWE has an uncomfortable relationship with the internet

The WWE has had a roller-coaster experience in the digital world.

Top 5 / Top 10 17 Mar 2017, 01:32 IST
Sheamus sat down for a Facebook Live session at ringside during an episode of Monday Night RAW.

To say the internet has changed professional wrestling would be an understatement, to say the least.

As with our entire world, the worldwide web has had an enormous impact on the sport, both on the on-screen performances and backstage dealings. Many of the wrestlers themselves have created an online presence, which has come in various forms over the years, and the WWE website is full of content that can only be found there.

But the question is, has all this change been for the better? That answer can be a tough one since the WWE hasn’t always had a great relationship with the Internet, but there are several ways the web has become an integral part of the WWE Universe.

#5 WWE Network

The WWE Network has truly been a game-changer.

Obviously, the WWE Network completely turned professional wrestling upside-down with regard to pay-per-views, which have become a staple of the business. As a matter of fact, the major monthly events are only pay-per-views in name, since most people watch them through a Network subscription instead of actually paying per view. 

Beyond that, the Network is unlike anything that any other sport has going.

After all, where could you pay $9.99 per month and watch any World Series game or Super Bowl ever, on demand? Add to that the ability to watch WWE shows and documentaries that aren’t in-ring programming and the WWE Network would seem like a brilliant and innovative marketing decision.

But for all of the Network’s positive attributes, it still doesn’t completely make sense from a business perspective. Sure, it’s incredible that fans have all of that wrestling content at their fingertips, some of which – like the “Table for 3” series – wouldn’t have existed just a few years ago, but it’s difficult to see where the endeavour is making much money for the company.

A year ago, the Network barely had enough subscribers to break even just with the money made from pay-per-view buys in the past, and subscriptions haven’t increased enough to change that, rising from 1.2 million to about 1.5 million.

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