They introduced Michael Cole to the stage. Cole welcomed everyone to Las Vegas. He said they were delighted to have everyone join them for one of the biggest days in WWE history.
Cole said that WWE is taking a huge step towards delivering their product to their fans, no matter how they view the product. Cole said it's fitting it's at CES. He said that everything began as the vision of one man...and introduced Vince McMahon.
Vince McMahon, with a massive smile on his face, came out. He said that he's been called many things, but the best is a fan. He said that he's a WWE fan and today is a great day for being a WWE fan and he'll explain why in a moment.
They played a WWE package video that is used usually for stockholders and promotional partners, touting the company's popularity, social media, crossover in the entertainment world and charity work.
After the video, Vince said it's a great day to be a WWE fan because they are launching the WWE Network. They showed off the WWE Network, using the same music that was often used for Classics on Demand.
Vince introduced Michelle Wilson, the WWE's Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. She said that today is about the transformation of how WWE presents their premium content. She said in 1985, Wrestlemania 1 was seen by one million fans via closed circuit.
Today, they are announcing the WWE Network and it will be over the top and groundbreaking - with 24/7 streaming programming, original live content and a huge on demand library that fans can access from any mobile device. She touted it would be over the top unlike anything ever.
Wilson said WWE fans want their content anywhere, anytime at any price. She said that WWE fans are engaged in consuming online content, claiming they consume 5 times the online videos then a non-WWE fan and are more likely to subscribe to a service such as Netflix.
The Network will be priced at $9.99 a month and will include:
All 12 PPVs including Wrestlemania at no additional charge.
*Live daily studio show.
*NXT and Smackdown.
*VOD of every WWE, WCW and ECW PPV.
*"Past years" of Raw and Smackdown and more.
*Vintage content will be branded legacy content with additional material added every month.
The big key to the $9.99 price tag is that you will have to purchase six months of programming at that rate. In other words, you will have to commit to six months all at once or you will pay a higher price.
They will launch via most streaming services in the United States first and then add UK, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore and other countries by late 2014/early 2015 with additional countries to follow.
The Network's slogan is "It's Way over the top."
Stephanie McMahon was introduced. She said that whether you loved the Attitude era, the Hulk Hogan era or are a new fan, the Network will feature programming from all of those eras. She broke down the original content:
*The pre and post game shows for Raw and Smackdown, promising a look into the backstage world of WWE.
*WWE NXT, which she described as a series that follows the developmental talent and sees "who will make it to the main roster." They played a promo video for NXT.
*Legends House, featuring 8 WWE Legends living in a house together. They showed clips featuring Pat Patterson, Roddy Piper, Jimmy Hart, Gene Okerlund, Hacksaw Duggan, Tony Atlas, Howard Finkel and more. The slogan was "legendary character, legendary series."
Stephanie praised the connection between WWE fans and WWE talents. She said she had one of those moments when she was in the crowd at Wrestlemania 1 and saw her friend Andre the Giant bodyslam Big John Studd. She said she had the blessing of sitting next to Andre later that night and listen to his stories. With the Network, they given the fans the chance to do the same with....
*"Wrestlemania Rewind" They aired a promo from the series, showing classic matches as well as comments about those moments, similar to a VH-1 panelist show.
Shawn Michaels said that many years ago when they started doing this, he would get nervous, much like he is now. He said the only time he's been in front of this many...