Despite a Royal Rumble finish that caused a hashtag movement and reportedly crashed the cancelation page, Variety is reporting that the oft-troubled WWE Network has reached the 1 million subscribers milestone 11 months after its launch. The good news: we won’t be losing those high quality Nitro episodes any time soon.
At the end of WWE’s third quarter in October, the WWE Network had 731,000 subscribers, with 28,000 coming from foreign markets. It signed up 31,000 new subscribers during the period, but lost 255,000 after the initial six-month commitment ended.
WWE has since dropped that six-month requirement in order to increase subscriptions, which cost $9.99 a month. It offered a free month in November, as part of a trial period, which is being attributed for many of the new subscriber sign ups.
So is the launch of the WWE Network in the United Kingdom, the company’s second largest market, as well as Sunday’s “Royal Rumble” pay-per-view. A group of very vocal fans took to Twitter shortly after the event causing the hashtag #CancelWWENetwork to trend to voice their disapproval of the show’s outcome.
Getting to 1 million since the end of October represents a 37% growth in subscribers since the third quarter. Around 24% of that came from new members in the U.S.
Vince McMahon’s were humble and understated.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve surpassed the 1 million subscriber milestone less than a year after launching WWE Network and in advance of ‘WrestleMania,’ our biggest event of the year on March 29,” said WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “We remain focused on delivering an outstanding value proposition for our fans by adding new content and new features in the coming year.”
WWE said that 90% of its subscribers access the network at least once a week, with 99% doing so at least once per month.
We’re sure this will cause a heated debate across the Internet, but I for one am happy the Network’s doing well. The product’s been pretty piss-poor on the main roster level since … well, April, but there’s more to the Network than that. You’ve got NXT and the live specials that continue to tear it up, plus you’ve got the archives, which are endless. Some people only access it once every few months, apparently, but those engagement numbers are good. I’m wondering what percentile I fall under as the guy who finds something to play in the background almost constantly. Then again, you’re asking a guy who runs a wrestling blog.
Of course, these numbers are certain to fluctuate, especially between the anger caused by the Royal Rumble and the peak business of WrestleMania. At least Triple H will have something positive to say when he stops by Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast.