In a press conference released earlier today, the WWE has outlined their plans to extend the reach of their 24-hour streaming/on demand service:
The U.S. English language version of WWE Network is available starting today, on an over-the-top basis, in more than 170 countries and territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Spain, and the Nordics, among others. The network is expected to be live in the U.K. by this October and plans for the network in Italy, UAE, Germany, Japan, India, China, Thailand and Malaysia will be communicated at a later date.
For $9.99 (U.S. dollars) per month with a six month commitment, fans will have access to 24/7 programming, all 12 live WWE pay-per-view events, and the most comprehensive video-on-demand library. In addition, subscribers can now choose a monthly offering at $12.99 (U.S. dollars) with no commitment and the ability to cancel at any time. The $12.99 price point is a change from the previously announced $19.99 monthly plan and allows WWE to offer an option with no commitment that we believe better reflects the variety of economies that exist internationally.
Sounds pretty great, right? I mean, I’ve been waiting what feels like forever to get the Network in Canada and have totally abstained from obtaining it via any other means. According to this press release, it sounds like it will be the same service provided to US customers, right?
Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to subscribe online by going to WWE.com and clicking on the WWE Network button on the top right corner of the navigation bar. Throughout the day, WWE Network will be made available internationally across all platforms including web, mobile, gaming consoles and connected devices.
At the end of the release, you’re directed to this website that will answer all of the questions you may have. Here in Canada, we usually tend to get the shaft when it comes to services advertised like this. Netflix Canada has a vastly different (and limited) selection of movies and television programs, and Hulu, well…let’s not even get into that. But those cover a wide range of companies with different international licenses, surely the WWE, who owns all of their content, will be different, right?
When you reach the WWE Network Canada page itself, you’re told to contact Rogers Canada about a specialized television channel to purchase “The Best of the WWE Network.” It took some doing to reach Rogers directly, as they are my wireless provider, so I’m automatically kicked into the wireless support queue no matter what number I call. I was helpfully directed to maybe the most confused, definitely-not-a-wrestling-fan customer support agent who had been given the bare minimum of information. What we were able to figure out between us was that the WWWE Wrestling Channel [sic] would only be available to Rogers cable subscribers. For $11.99 a month, you can access original series, documentaries, live shows, and live PPVs. She also mentioned WCCW and ECW, but couldn’t be specific on whether these were just the WCCW shows and ECW PPVs the Network originally had, or if the ECW coverage also includes episodes of ECW Hardcore TV. Rogers will be “looking into” device streaming “at some point in the future.”
It’s important to note that Rogers Canada does not extend to all provinces. In fact, they only provide cable services in certain regions of Ontario (mine is not one of them), and parts of Atlantic Canada. Should you live in Quebec, provinces west of Ontario, or the any of the territories, you’re completely out of luck. Remember how much heat Steve Austin got from Canadians at In Your House: Canadian Stampede? This is a million times worse. And if you’re a Canadian cable subscriber without access to Rogers and don’t remember, uhh…well…enjoy looking it up on WikiPedia, I guess.