MLB Advanced Media Says WWE Network Will Be Well-Received By Fans
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 01.20.2014
The streaming video company is providing the infrastructure...
- Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB Advanced Media, recently spoke with Deadline about his company handling the infrastructure for the WWE Network. Check out the highlights:
On why the network is so noteworthy: "Economically it's one of our largest clients for sure. In that sense it's incredibly important. But what's more important than dollars is this is the most vertically integrated brand in America.WWE Network Vince McMahon controls everything soup to nuts — from the idea in his head to how it appears on every screen around the world. And he just demonstrated [at CES] he's going to try and change what the economic rules are. He's in an ideal situation to do that. That's why a lot of the content players are going to watch this very carefully. As we've learned with music, a monthly subscription might be better than pay-per-view. It will ultimately be on every device and operating system that's imaginable. So the ability to take your content live and on-demand to every corner of the globe 24/7 is pretty appealing for a content publisher. All of the great partners that we have — DirecTV, Comcast, things like that — they're still U.S.-based services."
On whether WWE is giving up the PPV business with their subscription model: "Maybe. I don't think they'll be giving it up; it'll still be available. The notion of doing a monthly subscription for terrific content, others have done it before. But Vince is taking it to the next obvious level. He put his fans and customers first and in the long-run and maybe even the short run it will be well received."
On whether the deah would have made sense three years ago: "Yes, I think so. Glenn Beck did his deal three years ago. Is it going to be easier now? Sure. There's more infrastructure. But the real infrastructure is customer expectations, and that's the No. 1 thing that's changed. They're used to buying soft goods online. They're doing it two to three times more than they used to three or four years ago. This next generation of fans watches longform video on an iPhone. We never thought that would happen. But they do."
On potential concerns over buffers or long delays: "A lot of people who buy MLB TV have had good experience with the quality, reliability, and instantaneous nature of it. It's the Internet, [and] there are a lot of handoffs. But we pride ourselves on delivering the very best product. It is no different in quality, in terms of true hi def, than what they see on their big-screen TV. The video quality today is three or four times what it was just two or three years ago."