The WWE Network in China will have the lowest price point of any region the service has launched in.
For 30 yuan ($4.50 USD) per month or 198 yuan ($30.00) per year, customers in China will be able to watch WWE pay-per-views, NXT, 205 Live and other content via the PPTV app, which already broadcasts RAW and SmackDown in the country.
Separate from the Network offering, WWE PPVs will also be offered on PPTV on an individual pay-per-view basis.
PPTV and WWE will share the revenue earned from sales of Network subscriptions and PPVs. Additional details of the deal were not disclosed.
While the service is marketed at $9.99 in the U.S. and other countries, it’s offered at a number of different price points in other regions.
Country Price per month in market Converted to USD U.S. $9.99 $9.99 U.K. £9.99 $12.97 Ireland €12.99 $15.27 Canada (via Rogers and others) $12.99 CAN $10.14 China (via PPTV) ¥30 (or ¥198/year) $4.50 (or $30/year) Malaysia (via Astro) RM31.80 (or RM15.90/3 days) $7.41 (or $3.70/3 days) Middle East / North Africa (via OSN) $9.99 $9.99 India / Germany / Australia / rest of the world $9.99 $9.99
(Value-added taxes may increase rates in some countries.)
WWE claims it has 140 million fans in China, based on a self-commissioned survey from a few years ago.
The company hopes the roll out will curb the degree to which WWE content is pirated in the country.
“We found out that the content was being consumed on digital sites hosting pirated content,” WWE Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson told the Wall Street Journal.
The report mentions OTT services aren’t popular yet in China. Consumers seem more willing to sign-up for a subscription video service once their monthly income reaches 3,000 yuan ($450). Only 21% of the population is making that much, but five years ago only 12% were.
By the sounds of the press release, the video on-demand library available to Network customers in China may be limited.
“PPTV will continue to expand WWE Network’s video-on-demand library, adding more than 1,000 hours of content over the next 12 months.”
China was the last major country for WWE to launch its video service in. Only countries such as Iran, Syria, Sudan, Cuba, Libya, North Korea and a few others remain without access to the Network.
With its huge population WWE sees China as an important business opportunity. The company has recruited Chinese talent it hopes will make a connection with their home market.
Tian Bing was signed in June 2016. He's appeared in the NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and at WrestleMania in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
Last September, the company announced it hired seven new Chinese signees (Big Boa, Gu Guangming, Gao Lei, Zhao Xia, Wang Xiaolong, Yifeng and Cheng Yuxiang).
HoHo Lun, a native of Hong Kong, who was said to have been helpful as a translator for Chinese talent was released last week, so he could return home to tend to a family issue.
WWE has only run a few live events in the country. The company returns on September 17 of this year in Shenzhen, China. There have been four other WWE events held in China since 2010, all in Shanghai.
UPDATE: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed the WWE Network price in Canada.
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