The WWE Network is nearing four years old, and as the platform has evolved, devolved, and grown, the company continues to look into it more and more.
WWE CMO Michelle Wilson spoke to Business Insider and opened up about the thought process of moving to a streaming model in 2014. According to Wilson, WWE explored a plethora of options, which was rumored for years ahead of the Network's launch.
One of the things we explored was a linear cable network, much like the MLB Network, the NFL Network. We looked at an ad-supported channel. We looked at a premium paid channel like HBO. We actually had an opportunity to go in that direction. Simultaneously, we started doing research among our fans about how they were consuming content. They were consuming five times as much content on services like Netflix and Hulu.
Wilson also stated that when the idea of streaming was brought to Vince McMahon, he was on board with the idea of eliminating a middle-man in the process.
As we started looking at that and contemplated a linear network, we presented that to our CEO Vince McMahon, and he's a real visionary. He said to me and George Barrios, our CFO, "Maybe we shouldn't do the standard linear network." He was fascinated about this opportunity to go direct to consumer. That was our business model when we started to do live events. We got feedback directly from our consumers. Technology was disrupting the middleman [in media distribution]. And so he basically said, "I want to do that." For us, it was disrupting our own business model to be prepared for the future.
You can check out the full interview at this link.