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WWE promises to put a chokehold on entertainment with streaming TV network

Philip Michaels | Jan. 10, 2014
The WWE would like it very much if you smelled what the wrestling and entertainment conglomerate was cooking--specifically a streaming video channel it plans to launch next month.

Indeed, Wednesday night's launch event in Las Vegas seemed like it was tailor-made for wrestling fans who cut their teeth either in the Rock 'n Wrestling era of the mid-1980s or the WWE Attitude era of the late '90s. Apart from John Cena, most of the WWE superstars featured at the WWE Network launch event—including Stone Cold Steve Austin, HHH, and the aforementioned Shawn Michaels—enjoyed their heyday more than a decade ago.

Whether you're an old-school fan or one who hears the words "Hulk Hogan" and wonders why I've butchered the name of one of the Avengers, the WWE Network promises to sport features that characterize the company's forward-looking attitude toward tech. A Watch From the Beginning Button will let you start anew with any program currently airing on the network, says Perkins Miller, WWE's executive vice president of digital media. The network will also offer a Remind Me button that will text you when a program you care to watch is going to start, as well as a Second-Screen Experience button that gives you access to tweets, footage, and other secondary info tied to whatever program you're watching.

You won't have to wait long to see if WWE Network can be the king of the ring. The service launches February 24, right as that night's WWE Raw broadcast comes to an end. And WWE boasts a marquee draw to lure new subscribers: the 30th installment of the company's WrestleMania flagship event will be the first pay-per-view available to WWE Network subscribers.


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