By Burt Davis
Photos by Burt Davis
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc better known as the WWE chose CES week in Las Vegas to announce the launch of the WWE Network. The official launch date is February 24, 2014 at the conclusion of WrestleMania 30. A crowd of fans as well as reporters, many in town to cover CES, filled the Encore Theater at The Wynn Hotel on January 8 to hear the much anticipated official announcement of the launch. The press conference included several WWE executives and wrestlers.
Michael Cole, the voice of WWE, introduced WWE founder and CEO Vince McMahon.
McMahon reviewed the popularity of the WWE, telling the enthusiastic crowd that the WWE has over 15 million viewers and that its WrestleMania events are like The Super Bowl. He went on to say that WWE runs a training school for future wrestling stars and is actively involved in several charities. In fact, he shared a photo of WWE wrestlers presenting the Susan G. Komen Foundation with a check for $1 million.
Michelle Wilson, Chief Revenue Officer for WWE, reviewed the basics of the new online subscription-only video channel. She said the network would be 24/7 for a subscription cost of $9.99 per month. It would include all WWE events such as the popular Raw and SmackDown presentations as well as WrestleMania.“We have the content and we have the fan base willing to pay for it and build it,” Wilson said.The channel will also feature an on demand library containing past WWE events. WWE’s research has determined that they have a passionate fan base and that 61 million households have at least one fan.
Stephie McMahon, WWE chief brand officer, presented additional details. She said that WWE is starting a new reality series called Legends House. It will focus on eight retired wrestlers living together. I guess it will be sort of a Jersey Shore with wrestlers. McMahon and her wrestling husband Triple H explained how easy the new network will be to navigate from your TV or any mobile device.
Wrestling superstars John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin were present to add to the hype.
Fans took advantage of the opportunity to be photographed with some of their favorite wrestlers
I am not a wrestling fan, but I could not help but be impressed by the enthusiasm and excitement the WWE generates. Yes, they are showman, but what a great show they put on.