As much as a wrestling fan as I am (going on 30 years now), I only watch about 2-hours of wrestling per week on television…and even then not for a solid two hours.
I watch Monday nights between 9p and 11p while also flipping between Top Gear and some other show. Now, I do read about wrestling every day. Getting gossip, injuries, behind-the-scenes stuff…or to just find out which wrestler has died. All things considered, wrestling enters my life daily, but recently my wrestling watching has gone up 100%, all thanks to the WWE Network.
The WWE Network
Yes, I subscribed to the WWE Network. It’s actually a really good deal. I always purchased Wrestlemania every year, which is at least $60 just to buy on pay-per-view. The WWE Network is $10/month when you commit to six months (for now). So I could spend $60 to get one night of wrestling, or spend $60 to get nearly unlimited wrestling. It was an easy decision.
And I’ve watched more wrestling in the past two weeks than I have in the past two years. Wrestling has to be one of the most passive forms of entertainment available. I can flip on the a PPV from 1998 and let it play while I’m cleaning up, folding laundry or whatever else. When I hear something good, I stop, watch, remember and then continue on with things. Although it is pretty sad to watch a PPV and count the number of dead people.
If you’re a wrestling fan at any capacity, the WWE Network will not be a waste of money…at least not yet. But after reading an article over at Grantdland with thoughts on the Network, it got me thinking about how this “new” model for video distribution could be used with real sports. The article brings up some good points that I won’t rehash but I asked my wife if such a model would appeal to her as a hockey fan, and in short, she said it would.
The NHL Network?
Similar to what was mentioned on Grantland, I proposed to wife a mythical NHL Network that would consist of all regular season games – no more season hockey on television/cable. The Network would also include historical games as well as repackaged documentaries, highlight shows, biographies and whatever else the NHL can produce. However, the Stanley Cup games would only be available on network television (like always).
For $20/month you’d get current season hockey as well as the ability to go back and watch Game 3 of the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs, plus a documentary on Wayne Gretzsky. Would that be worth it to her? She says it absolutely would.
While we’re both hockey fans, we don’t watch a lot of hockey. So the thought is that if we had a NHL Network at our disposal that we’d watch more hockey content than ever before…and not just because we were paying for it but because you could turn on that network and know you’re going to see something that interests you.
Would that work? I think so and the WWE Network proves that to me. As I write this the 2000 King of the Ring PPV is playing. I’m not really actively watching it, it’s just on and every now and then I look up to see the late Chris Benoit put Rikishi in the relentless Crippler Crossface.
Wrestling for any occasion
I should also say that listening to wrestling at work has been great. I have the WWE Network app run on my ipad while I’m coding and it’s perfect background noise. Beats listening to the same Spotify playlist over and over.
I know friends will roll their eyes in amazement to find out I’m still watching wrestling and have even gone so far as to pay extra for it. That’s fine but I challenge them to tell me they wouldn’t do the same thing if their favorite sport had something similar. And honestly, I think over the next few years we’ll see some major sport follow the WWE’s model. Maybe it’ll be the NHL.
Now if you’ll excuse me, Terry Funk just tossed Mick Foley into a flaming table covered with barbed wire.