October 4, 2005
Internet video programming

Well, you all may have noticed that I trumped USA Today by about a week, posting about WWE moving two of its shows to exclusive Web-only content.

WWE has been a revolutionary Internet provider for a while. At first, it established a relationship with AOL and was one of their hottest "in-house" sites, with WWE chats from time to time even crashing the server and with a lot of downloads of themes, photos, etc.

Later, WWE.com became one of the most innovative Web sites. Vince McMahon's son Shane works with global expansion and new media, and he has pushed to take content and put it on the Web. The great move here is that the first hour of Smackdown mentioned in the article that got 500,000 views and the Velocity and HeatTV shows were not featuring a lot of big name stars. But, because there is an interest in Web programming, there is a good chance that moving them to the Internet could eventually make them MORE popular than they were.

On TV, these shows were the "B" shows. Now, they are the flagship shows of the Internet, giving fans a chance to see some of the smaller stars in wrestling matches that don't make it to the big show. The company is aggressively promoting its Internet now in a way that would fall right into the business practices suggested by the Pokemon movement, to make other flows of information coincide with and complement the main narrative.

By providing articles that give context to the main show, exclusive programming that complements the main show, etc., the WWE's Web site begins to function much like the Web site for Dawson's Creek did....It allows viewers the chance to choose what information they want to consume and to become lost in the fictional universe of the characters.