Former WWE Co-Executive Producer Discusses 'Rumblings' Of WWE Network In 2011

The WWE Network came to fruition in 2014 with WWE launching the OTT service as the go-to home for all WWE and historical content.

Former WWE co-executive producer Doug LeBow held a leadership role on the team responsible for developing the content strategy and slate of original programming for the Network.

Cody Rhodes On Leaving AEW: I Knew There Was Something Greater For Me Out There

Before he returned to the company in 2011, he left in 2006 after a department shift.

"We switched networks from Spike to USA, there were some redundancies in my department so the company asked me to do some work internationally, which I didn't want to do, and they were very generous in letting me go," LeBow recalled to AJ Kirsch on Tough Talk. "They said, 'this is not the last (time we'll see you).' Six years later, I get a call saying, 'We're starting a network, we would love for you to be a part of it. By the way, your first project will be the revival of Tough Enough.' That six years away, I ran my own business and was able to learn production outside of WWE because WWE is very particular in the way they do things. Arguably, the best in the business, but very particular. I was able to learn outside techniques and able to learn so when I went back, I was more prepared to execute what was asked of me by WWE."

LeBow was brought back to help with the revival of Tough Enough in 2011 and that's when he heard the initial rumblings of the WWE Network.

"(WWE Network) was an idea. Tough Enough was 2011 and almost immediately, they were like, 'We're going to do this first, but your real role will be transitioning into being an executive on The Network.' It wasn't an OTT plan at the time. They weren't sure how they were going to do it, and this is above my pay grade and you can't quote me on it, but there were rumblings that they were going to buy Oprah Winfrey's cable station. There were a couple of other ideas floating around. As they often do, they chose wisely and created something that was the first of its kind. They really were trail blazers in that regard," he said.

Before the launch of WWE Network in 2014, WWE did have a dedicated 24/7 channel, WWE Classics On Demand, which was carried on certain cable platforms.

Elsewhere during the interview, LeBow recalled getting his start with WWE in 1992. You can find his full comments by clicking here.

If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.

Get exclusive pro wrestling content on Fightful Select, our premium news service! Click here to learn more.