Friday, January 10, 2014

New channel marks sea change in media

In another sign that the old model of bundled cable is dying, a channel that's destined to become one of the hottest on television is bypassing the cable and satellite cartel and going directly to online distribution.

From Breitbart News:
World Wrestling Entertainment announced on Wednesday that it would launch the first-ever 24/7 streaming WWE Network channel on February 24. The sports entertainment franchise collaborated with MLB Advanced Media on the channel.

Many thought WWE would launch the WWE Network on cable television, but WWE opted to go with the digital option. According to WWE, fans will pay $9.99 a month with a 6-month commitment and will gain access to all of WWE's Pay-Per-View events, normally valued at $600 per year. Fans will be able to "subscribe to WWE Network beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on Monday, February 24, at WWE.com, and for a limited time will be offered a free one week trial." Consumers can access the channel on a variety of mobile devices as well.
Now I'm not a fan of WWE in the least, but there are plenty of Americans who are, and this is another moment of clarity for the media industry.

In my house, we are slowly phasing out cable/satellite service and moving to our two Roku devices and a couple of old laptop computers as our main sources of TV content. Oh, and we do receive our local channels over the air, which means no waiting for some three-piece suit back East to decide whether they want to show me channels 7 and 20. The WWE, for one, recognizes there are plenty of people like me, and that the number of "cord-cutters" is growing.

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