Thursday, October 30, 2014
Wrestling Business News With WWE Set To Relase New Network Numbers
WWE is on hours away from announcing there third quarter earnings and all indications are the news will not be so good like the second quarter. The WWE will be compelled to release the latest number in terms of network subscribers that most feel will be underwhelming. Even with the edition of international markets entering into that number. This was something that originally was not suppose to take place until the last quarter of 2014 or first of 2015.
There have been issues with two of the WWE’s largest international markets in Canada and U.K. Canada did launch with the rest of other international markets back in August but it was not a full launch and is very different from the U.S model. While it is on traditional cable television with Rogers it is not offer yet in most of the country. The WWE also had not yet gotten a license for the network with the CRTC Canada’s version of FFC. This limited the number of homes the network could be in due to lack of a license. In addition, Roger is controlling the network and any other cable providers will need to go through them to acquire it. This is an issue as Bell their major competitor and Roger while partners in MLSE that owns sports franchises like the Leafs, Raptors and TFC together still have serious issues getting along. There latest battle was over the Raptors T.V Schedule, which was only released a day prior to the season. They have battled over their expansion of radio and television properties as well. In short, Rogers does not have many friends with their competitors.
The U.K was originally delayed to launching at the start of this month but than was pushed back to November. Therefore, they will not be included in these numbers but we should get info on their model of the network set to launch in just a few days. It will be interesting to see if models after the U.S version or the Canadian version. The Canadian version while having a broadcast channel lacks the 1000’s of hours of on demand content the U.S version does and has not been as easily available on all platforms like the U.S model.
In any case, the expected bad news has many talents worried that we could see a number of cuts like those that we did following the last quarterly report that was not favorable. Names we have not seen on T.V seem to be the most uneasy. Still even being on T.V does not mean your safe as a few of the cuts last time had been seen recently. Names like Zack Ryder would likely top a list of people worried to pick up their phone the rest of the week. Curtis Axel son of Mr. Perfect seems to be limbo with Ryback returning as a solo act. Axel had been teaming with him prior to his injury.
TNA still has no television deal to speak of after another promised date of an announcement has come and gone. It really has the company living in a stat of limbo. This has left the talent with no work heading into the holiday season. TNA has no shows booked other than their tour of the U.K in the start of 2015. They have T.V taped until Mid-November and are said to be airing best of specials the rest of the year on Spike. Technically Spike could have already sent them packing but gave them until the end of the year to arrange to go elsewhere. This is ironic given some of the rumbles about TNA being unsatisfied with them as a partner. Kurt Angle is a man without a deal as is believed to be Samoa Joe. The company seems unwilling to sign anyone until they have a new deal and assumedly budget of less money in place. This despite some more rumors from Dixie she had a signing that was going to shock people. At this point people would be shocked if TNA is in business.
Lucha underground is underway and debuted on the El Ray network. Backed by some Hollywood heavyweights and having talent from Mexico’s AAA promotion along with names like John Morrison and Chavo Geurrero and Ricochet a top independent star that recently won the Battle of L.A in PWG. Have not heard much but people seem at least interested in what they have to offer.
ROH has Michael Elgin back in the fold for now as he returned to the company. In what might have been a shoot worked into an angle or just some horrible communication on an angle the two have come together and Elgin is playing what most feel he is in reality a disgruntled employee. Elgin’s deal may be ending soon and his future with ROH long term still seems to be a question mark.
Aside from that, though things are going fairly well for the company as they announced a toy deal to create ROH action figures. In the release, they talked about have not only current but past ROH stars as possibilities. Will see what happens but maybe a C.M Punk ROH doll? Who knows Punk seems to have come to terms with WWE on as people close to him have called it tying up lose end with the WWE. Those include a Flintstones movie in which Punk was the featured character. They have also put back up a limited amount of his merchandise on WWE Shop.com.
What it would mean with current WWE talent like Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn and Kevin Steen is unclear as relates to making dolls for them now that they are in the WWE likely don’t hold your breath. Still it is another step forward for ROH in marketing their brand.
There is your look around the business side of things look for more coverage of the WWE shareholders conference later today on the site.