WWE Network: Latest Rumors and News Surrounding Network's Launch for Feb. 20

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterFebruary 20, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

The battle between the WWE and DISH Network muffled all the other WWE Network news this week.

It's hard to hear word on match editing and the programming lineup when a pay-per-view provider starts blowing on the war horn before the Network even launches. While DIRECTV simply said it would have to "rethink its relationship with the programmer," per the Los Angeles Times, DISH is refusing to carry WWE pay-per-views any longer.

There was initially some confusion about whether fans could watch Elimination Chamber 2014 on DISH Network. The questions began when fans realized the WWE show was not appearing on the list of events to order.

Fans told WrestlingInc.com that they received different responses to questions about the pay-per-view's availability. 

One DISH representative reportedly said they "were working on it," another said the event would be available and another said "the only event available this Sunday is the UFC 170 replay."

The confusion is now over. DISH is refusing to carry Elimination Chamber in response to WWE putting their future pay-per-views on the new streaming service.

Zap2It reports that DISH issued the following statement to them:

WWE has chosen to launch a 24/7 online network, without its TV partners, that includes all of its pay-per-view events. As WWE enters the increasingly fragmented media world by themselves, DISH will continue to consider the value of WWE pay-per-view on an event by event basis.

DISH continues to provide a variety of WWE programming, including 'WWE Raw' on USA, 'WWE SmackDown on Syfy, 'WWE Main Event' on Ion and 'WWE Total Divas" on E!. At this time, WWE pay-per-view events are not available on DISH.

Even as legal-sounding as this is, there's a tinge of bitterness to it. It's as if DISH is implying that the world outside of cable providers, or as they put it "the increasingly fragmented media world" is dangerous.

WWE posted the following official statement, per F4WOnline:

WWE is pleased that the majority of our cable and satellite Pay-Per-View distributors are giving our fans an option to purchase traditional Pay-Per-Views as we prepare to launch WWE Network on Monday, February 24. Unfortunately, DISH will not be doing so. We hope DISH will reconsider for this Sunday's Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View event and especially for WrestleMania 30.

The strange thing about DISH pulling Elimination Chamber is that it airs one night before the WWE Network launches. Why not wait until WrestleMania XXX, the first pay-per-view event to be shown on the Network?

While the other cable companies are sticking it out with WWE for now, this news provides a touch of ominousness to the launch.

Will other cable companies follow DISH's lead? Will high volumes of subscribers to the new service be able to combat that loss?


Non-DISH Network News

For those wondering if more than one person can watch the WWE Network at once on the same account, the answer is yes. F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, reported, "a WWE representative told one reader that they will allow 2 viewers at a time, per account."

Will those viewers get to see chair shots to the head, though?

As much as the WWE Network has promised to stay true to the company's non-PG past, there's evidence that perhaps violent collisions of head and steel will be taken out.

James Caldwell of PWTorch writes, "WWE has begun the process of editing out chair shots to the head on archived match footage." Caldwell points out the following heavily edited video as proof.

However, this may just be edited because it is on YouTube rather than the WWE Network. WWE can provide a disclaimer about head shots before any programming that includes it.

Going the jerky editing route is just going to upset fans who subscribe to the service mostly to watch older clips.


Programming Notes 

The WWE Network is soon going to be the only place to watch NXT.

Wrestling Observervia WrestlingInc.com, provides some insight into why that is happening, writing, "WWE was interested in bringing NXT to broadcast TV this past September but apparently there was no interest from networks."

The show will now be a WWE Network exclusive, adding to the value of the service. NXT is currently on Hulu with its newest episodes first showing up on Hulu Plus, which requires a monthly fee.

Moving the show to the WWE Network crams more of the company's offerings into a single spot.

As to what else will be available for viewing, WWE.com listed a full lineup of programs. Fans have already heard of much of these, but a few others are worth getting excited about.

Some of the most intriguing options include Best of RawBest of SmackDown, a one-hour behind-the-scenes special called This is NXT and Beyond the Ring, which is described as an "all-access pass to the fast-paced action of WWE's home video library."

Add all that to the massive archive and every new pay-per-view from WrestleMania XXX on and it's easy to see why NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is stoked about the launch.

Don't expect DISH Network to send out any tweets like these. They have decided to snub Vince McMahon and Co., preemptively rejecting the WWE Network.