The long-awaited launch of the WWE Network over-the-top streaming service in the United Kingdom has been delayed until further notice.
Little more than 20 minutes before the web channel was scheduled to go online at 8pm UK time, the firm regrettably announced the false start.
“The launch of @WWENetwork in the U.K. has been delayed until further notice,” the WWE Network account tweeted at 7:39pm
The platform was announced at CES in January 2014 for a cost of $9.99 (around £6.25) a month, but the UK launch as delayed as the firm thrashed out terms with its long-time UK broadcasting partner Sky Sports.
It is currently live in the United States among a host of other countries, offers access to the grappling company’s entire archive of content, as well as monthly pay per view events.
Last week the company announced the WWE Network would be launching in the UK on Monday, offering the entire month of November, including the Survivor Series PPV, free of charge.
As of right now, there’s no indication when the legion of wrestling fans in the United Kingdom, who’re among the company’s most loyal fans, will be able to access the service.
The UK launch had been considered key for WWE, having struggled to snap up the expected number of subscribers in its US homeland. The firm had hoped to acquire one million subscribers before the end of 2014, but a recent earnings call pegged the current number at around 731,000.
In response to the lower than expected adoption rate, WWE has also dropped the 6-month commitment for new subscribers in the United States.
The WWE Network is considered a big deal both for wrestling fans and the TV industry in general, as it’s the first 24/7 TV network available exclusively over the internet.
It is thought that the company, which pioneered the PPV television industry with WrestleMania back in the 1980s, may be able to spearhead similar change with its a la carte offering, but delays like this must be considered a major set back.
So far there is absolutely no explanation for WWE’s decision to delay the launch.
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