September 27, 2005
Programming to become Internet-only

With World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s move from Spike TV to USA that I mentioned in an earlier post, the company will be losing two programs. Spike TV aired Velocity on Saturday night and Heat on Sunday night, featuring some of the lower-level and smaller WWE wrestlers in matches each week. There was widespread rumors in the wrestling industry that the company would be letting a lot of these lower-card wrestlers go once there was no longer a weekly product to air them on, and some of those wrestlers were reportedly trying to figure out what else they could do with their lives.

However, the company instead decided to go a different direction and one that mirrors our discussion in this class--the WWE will be airing Velocity and Heat each week, as they used to, except now as programming exclusive to their Web site. Starting this weekend, fans will be able to stream both programs every weekend.

Reportedly, the WWE is wanting to do everything in its power to make its Web site a more viable property. They have already begun competing with "wrestling journalism" sites that publish insider news on the wrestling industry by providing their own backstage looks and stories on the Web site. They have fantasy game playing and a lot of secondary and background information for feuds, as well as interviews with the performers. Now, with adding a fair amount of Web-specific programming, I am wondering what effect this might have on the company's New Media division.

At the least, it is good news both for fans and performers, as they will not lose their opportunity to be showcased every week.