WWE posted the following in their Fourth Quarter 2014 earnings report earlier today about the number of subscribers to the WWE Network in the fourth quarter:
WWE Network Update: Fourth Quarter Highlights
Network segment revenues increased 64% from the prior year quarter and 33% from the prior year reaching a ten-year peak with the launch of WWE Network. During the quarter, reflecting management’s belief in the broad appeal of WWE Network content, the Company introduced a simplified price plan at $9.99 per month with no commitment (cancel at any time) and migrated current subscribers to this plan in December. As part of its network strategy, the Company also continued to feature premium live and original content, such as its pay-per-views, increased its comprehensive video-on-demand library to more than 2,700 hours, and rolled out new “resume play” and “watch list” features across all WWE Network platforms. After making WWE Network available in international markets in August, the network continued to grow its global subscriber base.
WWE Network added 85,000 subscribers during the quarter, representing a 12% increase from September 30, and reached 816,000 subscribers at year-end. The subscriber growth reflected the acquisition of 336,000 subscribers, which was 17% above the gross subscriber additions in the preceding quarter.
Fourth quarter subscriber performance demonstrated the efficacy of the Company’s free trial offering in November and underscored the impact sampling could have on subscriber growth. The November promotion attracted approximately 242,000 trial subscribers.
The U.S. version of WWE Network was made available in more than 170 countries and territories beginning August 12, 2014. At year-end, WWE Network had approximately 44,000 international subscribers.
WWE Network’s compelling live and new original content continued to drive viewer engagement. During the quarter, WWE’s NXT Live program, which features the Company’s emerging talent, attracted increased viewership and social media activity as well as fueled e-commerce merchandise sales. Also exemplifying the power of live content, a network special with Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin® was among the most watched original programs on the network, generated social media activity that was among the top 10 worldwide trending topics on Twitter during the program.
As the WWE Network subscriber base has grown, the network continues to cultivate a high level of satisfaction and subscriber engagement. Viewer data indicates that, on average over 2014, close to 90% of subscribers accessed WWE Network at least once per week and 90% of subscribers are satisfied with WWE Network.
WWE Network Update: Future Plans
The Company will continue to execute a five-part strategy to attract subscribers, including making the network available in new geographies, executing high impact customer acquisition and marketing programs, creating new content, expanding distribution platforms, and developing new features.
WWE Network hits 1 million subscribers: On January 27, 2015, the company announced that WWE Network had surpassed 1 million subscribers1 just 11 months after launch. These results represent a 37% increase (24% domestically) in subscribers since last reported at the end of third quarter 2014, driven primarily by a successful free November promotion, the launch of the service in the UK and significant additions for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view event. Through January 27, WWE Network had attracted more than 1.4 million unique subscribers with 71% of these subscribers active as of that date.
WWE Network available in the U.K and Ireland: The Company continues to broaden the global distribution of WWE Network. WWE Network was made available in the UK on January 19 for £9.99 per month and Ireland for €12.99 per month with no commitment and the ability to cancel any time.
Sampling – February Free: Based on the successful execution of the network’s free trial offering in November, all new subscribers who register for the network in February will receive the month of February for free, including the opportunity to watch WWE Fast Lane live on Sunday, February 22.
Expanded WWE Network Distribution in Canada, the Middle East and North Africa: Rogers Communications, the Company’s exclusive network distribution partner in Canada, has reached agreements with Cogeco Cable Canada, Eastlink, Shaw and Shaw Direct, TELUS Optik TV and TELUS Satellite, and Videotron, ensuring WWE Network will be available nationally in Canada before WrestleMania (March 29). In addition, the Company has reached an agreement with OSN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, to distribute WWE Network in the region as a premium linear channel, launching before WrestleMania.
New Content / Product Features: The Company is evaluating opportunities to expand the range of original network programming to include more exclusive live specials with sought after interviewees, talk shows, animation, and short-form content. To highlight debuting programs and identify the most popular content on the network for subscribers, the Company plans to roll out additional content carousels in the first half of 2015.