It was announced by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio this morning that the idea to launch tiered subscription plans for the WWE Network has been scrapped. It’s believed that the new tiers were supposed to launch in the coming weeks, but that was not official. The higher-priced tier was to feature content from additional promotions, including PROGRESS Wrestling and Evolve, among other non-WWE content.
Along with the announcement, the plans to add and air those other promotions appears to be on hold. The timing is of interest due to it being just announced by WrestleVotes on July 21st that Evolve and wXw would begin streaming on the Network before the end of 2020. It’s unknown if that’s still the plan or if it will still happen.
As for the reason why the tiered plans has been dropped, there wasn’t one really given. The original thought was that their would be 3 tiers: Free, $9.99, and either $14.99 or $19.99. The idea behind those points was that the free would lead to increased sales of the $9.99 tier, with the higher priced tiers enticing and leading the more diehard fans with the added content of other promotions. The Q2 earnings report is due out about 5pm EST today, which may lead to more information with regards to this situation.
Jason’s Jest: Launching a tiered subscription based service right now is extremely tricky and a huge risk given the current economic situation of not just the US, but the world, due to the COVID-19 disease. This has already been felt by several streaming services as households are scaling back on the number of subscriptions they are using. Plus, the launch of Quibi has been seen as a massive failure at this point after investing $1.5 Billion into the promotion. Maybe put this off until 2021 and try again once things attempt to get back to normal.