WWE Pins SVOD Carriage


World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has notched the first cable affiliation deals for its subscription-video-on-demand service, signing long-term pacts with Cox Communications Inc. and several small operators.

WWE 24/7 -- which offers library footage from the grappling organization -- launches this month on Cox, RCN Corp., Blue Ridge Communications, Sunflower Broadband, Massillon Cable TV and SELECO (Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Communications), WWE vice president of affiliate sales Peter Clifford said.

WWE didn’t say how many potential subscribers the affiliate deals would bring. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The cable companies plan to charge customers $6-$8 for about 20 hours per month of programming, with around 20%-25% of the content refreshed every week, WWE Enterprises senior VP Tom Barreca said.

Cox expects to charge $6.95 for WWE 24/7, as well as for two other SVOD services it plans to launch this month, Anime Network and here!.

WWE also will offer operators a package of free-VOD programming, including trailers of upcoming events and vignettes developed from existing on-demand content.

Clifford said WWE is talking with all the top MSOs and hopes to reach agreements prior to its April 3 Wrestlemania XXI pay-per-view event.

Barreca said WWE also expects to talk with various telephone companies about distribution on their respective video platforms.

WWE recently said it will use TVN Entertainment Corp. to distribute the SVOD service.