With its launch a mere three months away on April 1 (yes, April Fools Day; hopefully in years to come, we will not look back on this as prophetic), much has already been speculated about the prospects of success for the WWE Network, Vince McMahon's first attempt to set up and run a wrestling channel.
Doubts have been raised regarding the network's extremely early launch date, the chances of it gaining widespread clearance and its lack of announced programming and a proper creative vision (so far, reality show Legend's House is the only confirmed show, and, even then, none of the participants have been officially announcer nor has it started filming).
Additionally, the inability of the company to make any major hires on a corporate level, particularly finding a network head, has also been pointed to as a matter of major concern. The situation has gotten so dire, one notable television name who had meetings with WWE regarding coming in to run the network telling one journalist he refused the deal because "Vice President of the XFL is not something you want on your resume."
Have the network's prospects improved in the last few weeks weeks? Alas, no. At least according to Dave Meltzer on last night's Wrestling Observer Radio (show is available to subscribers only). Any die-hard WWE fan hoping for big things for the network may want to give this show a miss because Meltzer made the situation sound absolutely dismal.
Noting he had spoken with several panicked higher-ups, he went on to say:
Put it this way: as desperate as I thought they were when it comes to getting people to run this network, they are like way more desperate. I don't know what it is. I mean you would think in like this industry that like there would be people chomping at the bit...and I mean, there are people that don't even have jobs that are turning down Vice President positions for that freaking network! Its absolutely...I don't want to say it's going to be a flop because they haven't even programmed one day and I'm going to pre-judge the entire thing, but ..the one thing is: how they're going to get this thing going on April 1 is beyond me. They say their going to be in 40 million homes...we'll wait and see...for among these network people...wrestling isn't being perceived as being that hot right now.
While, Meltzer has a valid point that in saying it is unfair to deem the network a flop when it has not even officially launched yet, if we look at the various issues with clearance and lack of programming, it certainly it does not look very promising right now.