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WWE NETWORK UPDATE

By Mike Johnson on 2012-10-19 10:38:06
With the latest conference call with stockholders set for November, WWE is under some pressure to announce something, anything concrete for the planned WWE Network. During the last call, Vince McMahon noted that he had hoped to make some announcements at the next conference call.

During an interview with the Hartford Courant however, WWE's Chief Financial Officer George Barrios pretty much made it clear that no strategy for the network's rollout has officially been decided.

In the interview, Barrios noted that WWE has considered a traditional cable network rollout (think USA or SyFy), a paid cable network (Think HO or Showtime) or a network that "delivers content directly to viewers's TV sets or computers", which sounds like something distributed via a streaming device like a Roku or an entity like Hulu Plus.

It could be Barrios was playing coy so as not to tip WWE's hand, but it's more likely that another factor has the company still in a "wait and see" mode.

The piece noted that WWE has requested financial aid as part of Connecticut's "Next Five" initiative. In the initiative, Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development provides companies chosen with a long term, multi-million dollar loan in order to create jobs and bring business into the State. The payments are deferred and can even be forgiven in part or completely, as long as the company reaches agreed upon milestones.

Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable provider in the country, announced a few weeks ago they would be moving their HQ to CT from St. Louis as part of the initiative. NBC Sports are also moving positions from other States to CT as part of the initiative.

WWE has noted they hope to create 200 jobs with the network. There is no word how much money WWE hopes it will receive from the initiative, if they are approved. It could be they are taking a "wait and see" strategy before they 100% lock in their plans.

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