PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A growing number of sports leagues and companies are racing to get in on what could be the future of home video viewing, streaming content online directly to their fans.
It started with companies like Netflix and Hulu.
Now, the broadcast industry has a name for it – “over-the-top” content. Instead of cable boxes, it’s is delivered via the internet to mobile devices, Smart T-V’s, video gaming consoles and more.
World Wrestling Entertainment is at the head of the pack of new contenders with its WWE Network. It launches on Monday.
Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon spokeexclusively with KDKA-TV about the network prior to last month’s Royal Rumble event in Pittsburgh.
“The WWE Network has been in the works for several years now. We’re incredibly excited and proud. It’s the first-ever 24/7 live streaming, pure over-the-top network play.”
The WWE Network also offers thousands of hours of on-demand content, and monthly pay-per-view events are included at no extra charge.
“Our fans now have the ability to watch all 12 pay-per-views for $9.99 a month.”
ESPN is already in the “over-the-top” game with its “Watch ESPN” App.
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The NFL just unveiled “NFL Now” – a digital network offering personalized programming based on your favorite team and players. Premium content will be provided for a monthly fee. It will launch in the summer, ahead of the 2014 season.
The future of how we watch TV is coming, but at the same time, there is a line WWE and others must walk with the cable and satellite companies that could be left behind. Variety reports Dish Network has decided to no longer offer WWE pay-per-views. Dish customers make up about 13% of the pay TV market in the U.S.
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“We’re hopeful they will continue to carry our pay-per-views because we want to have our content in as many places as possible so our fans can watch it anytime, anywhere on the device, platform, channel they prefer.”