Press Release from the Newswire:
World Wrestling Entertainment–R– Launches WWE 24/7–TM– SVOD Service with Cox Communications, Blue Ridge, RCN & Three Other Leading Regional Systems
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 7, 2005–World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) announced that it has secured agreements to launch its subscription video-on-demand service WWE 24/7 with Cox Communications, Blue Ridge Communications, RCN, Sunflower Broadband, Massillon Cable TV, and SELCO (Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations).
The announcement was made today by Peter Clifford, Vice President, WWE(R) Affiliate Sales. “These initial commitments are a strong vote of confidence in the WWE brand, our dedicated consumer base, and our ability to work directly with our distribution partners to create new revenue streams and promote the On-Demand platform like no one else can,” said Clifford. “Our jump into the On-Demand world comes with a promise to once again be a market-maker. We intend to do for SVOD in this decade what we did for PPV in the 1980’s. That effort resulted in our becoming the number one pay-per-view provider in the world and in significant new revenues for our distribution partners.”
The Cox launch will bring this service built from WWE’s 75,000-hour programming library to several of the MSO’s leading systems.
“Differentiated, branded content with a passionate following like that of WWE’s is a great addition to our library of On-Demand content,” said Bob Wilson, Senior Vice President of Programming for Cox Communications. “This new offering will make the customer’s On-Demand experience even more robust and since it’s only available via digital cable, it helps solidify Cox as the best choice for entertainment services in our markets.”
Blue Ridge Communications brings WWE 24/7 to cities throughout Pennsylvania, including Stroudsburg, Ephrata, Lehighton, Hawley and York Haven. Blue Ridge was the first system to work with WWE in a soft launch of the WWE 24/7 service, to great response from its customers, some of whom provide regular Internet reports to WWE fans around the country on the monthly program offerings.
The RCN deal offers WWE 24/7 to its subscribers coast-to-coast in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Pa., and San Francisco, as well as for its Starpower Communications subsidiary, which services Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Sunflower Broadband will offer WWE 24/7 to its Lawrence, Kansas-based system. Massillon Cable TV and SELCO bring the offering to systems in Ohio and Massachusetts, respectively.
“We are very eager to launch WWE 24/7. I believe that SVOD services without an associated linear channel offer great promise,” said Bob Gessner, President of Massillon Cable TV. “It’s entirely incremental programming viewers can’t see anywhere else. Add to that WWE’s proven track record for creative marketing and loyal viewers, I don’t see how it can miss.”
Over the past three years, WWE has aggregated the best of professional wrestling television by strategically acquiring the libraries of a host of other national and regional promoters, including WWE, WCW(R), ECW(R) and AWA(R). The result is an archive of more than 75,000 hours of bankable programming content.
WWE 24/7 makes approximately 20 hours of content available anytime per month – refreshing four to five new hours per week on average. The programming includes the best of past cable, broadcast, pay-per-view and home videos, from WWE and other leading wrestling brands. (Note: full details for March schedule are in companion release)