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article imageWWE Network offers no-commitment subscriptions amid slow growth

By Armando Tamayo     Oct 31, 2014 in Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment will offer no-commitment subscription for its WWE Network starting December. The new plan is in connection with the company's 'November free subscription' for new subscribers.
New customers will get the entire month free of charge, including the 'Survivor Series' on November 23, Sunday.
The new offers of the subscription plan will be $9.99 per month, with the ability to cancel any time. Subscribers will pay the same rate and can pay month-to-month, without the initial commitment of a six-month subscription according to the company press release as reported in NY Post. The 'no commitment' subscription was launched in Aug.12. The current subscribers with existing accounts will start in its 'no commitment' tier in December.
The WWE Network launched on Feb.24, but reported third quarter losses with just 731,000 subscriptions, with low net gain of 31,000 subscribers in three months. During that period, WWE only gained 3,000 subscribers from the U.S., with the rest coming from their international expansion on 170 countries also according to the report. WWE stock took a 5.7 percent hit in heavy trading closing at $12.51.
The new plan according to WWE chief strategy and financial officer George Barrios is a borrowed page from other subscription networks like Hulu Plus and Netflix. "I know sampling will be a big part in this business" Barrios said in a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The WWE Network launch was originally met with critical praise from the media which said to bring a "one of a kind experience to true wrestling fans" according to Wrestling Inc. Yahoo Sports dubbed the innovation as 'Championship Product'.
WWE Network features a 24/7 scheduled programming, comprehensive video library and 12 pay-per-view live events in more than 2,600 hours of wrestling content. The plan includes all the pay-per-view events from WWE, ECW and WCW in the $9.99 per month subscription, with the option to cancel at any time.
The scheduled programming includes documentaries, reality shows, classic matches, exclusive coverage and original shows. Subscription to WWE Network is similar to Hulu Plus and Netflix, where viewers can subscribe online. Wrestling fans can subscribe by clicking the "WWE Network" button at WWE.com.
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