WWE Network’s next major update is coming

Sep 10, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

WWE Network’s next major update is coming, and will include tiered pricing, as well as offline downloads.

WWE Co-President George Barrios spoke with The Verge, and outlined updated subscription plans the company plans to roll out. The plans will include a free, regular, and premium version of the service, and will offer offline downloads.

The following plans were outlined.

Free: This will offer the same free-to-watch videos you’d normally find on WWE.com. Barrios said WWE might also offer timed previews of paid WWE Network content.

Regular: The standard WWE Network experience, combining free content with subscription benefits like live pay-per-views, on-demand streaming, and original programming.

Premium: “We think there’s also an opportunity to super-serve our most passionate Network subscribers with a premium tier that’ll bring together more content for them, more features for them, and also integrating some of our other non-video services like our commerce — potentially integrating something like free shipping, bringing together our digital ticketing efforts in there. It becomes the one place to experience everything WWE.” Barrios didn’t disclose how much WWE might charge for the premium tier.

WWE Network will also include offline downloads, called “Download To Go”, which will allow subscribers to watch full-length pay-per-view events offline. No timeline was provided for the feature, but Barrios explain, “It’s prioritized on the roadmap.”

The latest update of WWE Network included a design overhaul, as well as shift from Disney owned Bamtech to Endeavor Streaming. WWE Network 2.0 utilizes HTML5, and can output up to 1080p. Previously the WWE Network offered content with a maximum resolution of 720p. The company has performed tests filming content in 4k, but has no immediate plans to include to make the switch.

Barrios also spoke on issues many subscribers had following the most recent update, stating “There are things that are missing, and those are going to come quick,”. Barrios explained that WWE’s digital team is working on getting bugs fixed quickly.

Although no exact date on launching the new tiers was provided, the company will be pleased if they can have everything ready by mid-2020. Barrios stated, “Even better performance, bring back the features that couldn’t be there at launch, bring new features like Download To Go, get both tiers up and running. If by next SummerSlam we’ve done all that, we’re going to feel awesome.”

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