WWE Faces Difficult Decisions On Network Content
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When World Wrestling Entertainment launches its WWE Network, subscribers will have on-demand access to more than 400 pay-per-view events from the past.
WWE published a list on its website Tuesday.
Included on the list is the 1999 Over The Edge pay-per-view. During that event, wrestler Owen Hart died after falling 70 feet when the harness that was being used to lower him to the ring malfunctioned. The incident and its aftermath were not shown during the broadcast. The show continued afterward.
Encore showings and replays of the event were canceled following Hart’s death, and it was never released on home video.
Late Friday, WWE confirmed its decision in a statement to KDKA-TV: “WWE Network will be airing the 1999 Over The Edge pay-per-view. However, portions of the event will be edited out of respect for Owen Hart.”
WWE’s decision to include the 1999 Over The Edge pay-per-view in its network content was made within the past two weeks.
During an exclusive interview with KDKA-TV before WWE’s Royal Rumble event in Pittsburgh on Jan. 26, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon said the decision had not yet been made.
McMahon did confirm that matches involving Chris Benoit would be available. In 2007, Benoit killed his wife and 7-year-old son before taking his own life.
“They are incredible challenging decisions to make,” McMahon said. “At the end of the day, we try to do what’s right for our fans and we try to give them exactly what they want to see.”
The WWE Network is a 24/7 streaming network delivered through over-the-top digital distribution.
Subscribers will have access to past pay-per-view events via a video-on-demand library that will contain more than 1,500 hours of content at launch. The $9.99 monthly subscription also includes all WWE live pay-per-view events. The WWE Network will launch on Feb. 24.
Stay tuned to KDKA-TV and KDKA.com for more of our exclusive interview with WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon.