WWE had timed the April 1 launch of the network in 40 million homes to coincide with its pay-per-view extravaganza, Wrestlemania. The company even had a clock counting down to the April launch date on its site, which has since disappeared. The Stamford, Conn., company is also lagging when it comes to hiring experienced cable executives. It was expected to hire some 200 employees, including a general manager to run the channel.
There are also many issues with WWE not having enough cable experience to execute such task:
“WWE has the programming and marketing muscle, but they just have no one with cable experience who can execute for them,” said one cable executive.
WWE swung to a loss in the fourth quarter on costs to launch the TV network and revamp its film division. The company lost $8.6 million, while revenue fell 7.8 percent to $122.5 million. WWE spent $4 million in the quarter to get the network off the ground.
While WWE still targets mostly 18-to-34 year-old men, the company has toned down its once raunchy programming in a bid to become more family friendly and broaden its appeal for advertisers.
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