In Miami, execs introduce shows but say little else about launch of network
As WWE puts together plans to launch its WWE Network sometime this year, company execs had little to share about the channel at its annual business summit, on the eve of “WrestleMania 28,” in Miami.“We continue to evaluate the best approach” for launching the network, according to WWE chief marketing officer Michelle Wilson. That includes carriage deals that have yet to be revealed. Still, execs did introduce new shows that will air on the channel. Those include reality show “WWE Divas Tour Bus,” “WWE WrestleMania Rewind,” that revisits previous events, “WWE Countdown,” and “WWE The Monday Night War: Raw vs Nitro.” Those will air alongside reality series “WWE Legend’s House,” with Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hillbilly Jim, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Tony Atlas, Pat Patterson, Howard Finkel, Mean Gene Okerlund and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. Company has been looking for ways to package the 100,000 hours of footage in its library that have only aired once or have never been seen, according to Stephanie McMahon, WWE’s exec VP of creative, at the summit. Off the WWE Network, the company plans to produce a third series to air on a broadcaster, although no details were given of the hour-long show. It also will produce another hour-long series in Spanish that’s aimed at Hispanic auds. It currently airs “Monday Night Raw” on USA Network and “Friday Night SmackDown” on Syfy. “SmackDown” has been Syfy’s top-rated series since it moved over from MyNetworkTV in 2010. The shows are viewed by 15 million in the U.S. each week and another 45 million overseas.