WWE Network UK launch delayed AGAIN!
It seems vaguely ridiculous that I’m sat here writing this, but here we go. Last night, less than twenty minutes before the announced launch time for the WWE Network in the UK, things got delayed again.
There was no explanation, no follow-up tweet and certainly nothing to placate the fans, who were swift in response themselves:
It’s hard to believe that a company the size of WWE could screw up a launch so badly. The rumours are - once again - that Sky have a hand in this, and that they were unhappy with the launch and put out a last minute injunction to prevent it going ahead as planned.
It really must have been last minute too, as only a few hours earlier the WWE had removed the location-restriction on the Network and it was physically available to subscribers with a US account who were logging in via the UK.
If the rumours that Sky have put a stop to the WWE Network launch in the UK, you can understand why. Only at the start of the year was a new deal penned between the two allowing Sky to broadcast all 12 Pay-Per-View events on Sky Box Office - The first time that the UK has had to pay for every PPV as historically many have been free.
Yet the question has to be asked: Why did the WWE sign this deal? In January plans for the Network must have been well underway given that it was launched in the US only a couple of months later.
I can only assume that no allowance was made for the WWE to have broadcast rights to their own programming via the internet in the UK, which is understandable on Sky’s part as they must no doubt already be feeling the effect of the likes of Netflix.
Whatever has happened, it leaves a very bitter taste in the mouths of UK WWE fans, especially when the WWE is due to tour the UK this month. I wonder if the company would dare continue to shove the “… for just $9.99!” line down our throats when filming for tv in the UK?
Make no doubt about it, the WWE Network will get to the UK eventually. Whether it’s a stripped down version, similar to Canada, or a fully working version that comes in when the deal with Sky expires, only time will tell.
WWE have the potential to buy-out their agreement with Sky, but that could be too costly to consider.
When the time comes, the WWE PR machine needs to be working overtime in the UK to appease upset fans and to get people onside.
My subscription is waiting!