I just read that Comcast execs are handling the lead in negotiating for WWE Network. What are the odds Comcast is going to carry it and how much will it cost?
I read in different articles that it might be added to the Sports Entertainment Package with NFL Red Zone, CBS Sports Network, Fox College Sports, Tennis Channel, Fox Soccer Channel etc. but would not be surprised if they also made it a separate premium network.
Also, would it eliminate the current WWE Classics on Demand channel?
Answer to second question first....Most likely, since it is NOT doing major buys anyway[reportedly under 50,000 subs currently]. Most of the programming would move over to the WWE Network.
Now to your first question...If WWE is to be believed and that they will launchthe new network going into 40 million homes, then the premium option is out. The SEP option would probably not work out, because they will not reach the magic number they want to have at launch.
Comcast will probably carry it, if only to be able to keep Monday Night Raw on USA Network[a Comcast/NBC channel], as either on the digital preferred or the digital starter package. That would explain why Comcast is helping WWE with the cable clearances for now.
Very good points on the SEP option as I read about the 40 million homes piece as well. That might eliminate the Sports package with Red Zone option as well.
As far as WWE Classics On Demand no longer being available, I figured that would be the case.
Would WWE Network even be able to carry RAW and Smackdown in the beginning? I thought the contracts with USA and SyFy would prevent that from happening in the beginning, whether or not Comcast carries the channel.
"According to a Monday December 5th report by SportsBusinessDaily.com, the WWE will launch their new TV station on Sunday April 1, 2012. This is the same day that WrestleMania 28 takes place from Miami, Florida. The network is expected to reach 40 million homes upon its debut.
The WWE is working closely with Comcast to make all the final preparations for their launch. Additionally, the WWE is moving a lot of their PPV content to their network. However, it's unclear if this means they will replay PPV events or air them live. In my opinion, they should air the major ones on PPV (Summer Slam, WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series) and air the other 9 PPVs on their Network. However, I doubt that they will forego the PPV revenue on those other 9 PPVs unless they can offset it with advertising."
The only change that might come with the channel's addition is Smackdown will get moved to the WWE Network from SyFy and Raw will stay on USA as JCO65 said because Raw's contract with USA through 2014.
i also saw in the article that WWE might pursue actions sports like roller derby and maybe NHL for network content
Looks like the cable rate WWE will charge the cable systems is only going to be ten cents per subscriber. Compared to most other sports networks, that is a pitance and probably will not cause a cable increase for the WWE Network alone.