WWE Corporate: Why WWE Should Enhance the Apple Partnership

Kendrick BryanContributor IIDecember 27, 2010

Today, Apple confirmed to John Paczkowski of All Things Digital that sales of the next generation Apple TV topped one million units before Christmas.

Paczkowski writes, “A million units sold within three months of the device’s launch is certainly impressive.”

The set-top box is available for $99 and emphasizes streaming and renting. Movie rentals start at $2.99 for standard-definition versions and $3.99 for high definition. However, many rentals are $4.99.

Apple TV competes with a number of set-top boxes, including Roku, Google TV, Boxee Box and the Western Digital WDTV Live Hub.

Apple TV allows users to stream videos from iTunes, Netflix and YouTube. It also allows users to stream music and photos. This model can be controlled by using the Remote app available for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.

WWE only offers seven “movies” in the iTunes store. Six are categorized as documentaries and “Legendary” is also available. The film features John Cena, Danny Glover and Patricia Clarkson.

In addition to the movie offerings, WWE offers five pay-per-view events in the store. Users can buy Survivor Series 2010, Over the Limit 2010, Fatal 4 Way 2010, Money in the Bank 2010 or SummerSlam 2010.  

While the company also offers the WWE Classics on Demand service, it would benefit from featuring more content on iTunes. Ratings have declined in recent years compared to the Monday Night Wars, and fans may rekindle interest by watching vintage footage and sampling recent pay-per-view matches.

Imagine being able to rent the WrestleMania IX event or the Bret Hart/British Bulldog match from Summerslam 1992. Through an enhanced partnership, fans could easily watch classic matches like the Ricky Steamboat/Randy Savage battle from WrestleMania III.

WWE needs to adapt its business model, as it understands that DVD sales are dropping and streaming services are on the rise. By placing additional content on iTunes, fans could view their favorite Superstars on devices like the iPad, the iPod Touch and the iPhone in addition to their televisions.

Items on iTunes can be viewed on televisions thanks to Apple TV, VGA cables and the Apple Component AV Cable.

The top tech trend of 2010 was the rise of the iPad and other tablets. The year was also marked by the September bankruptcy filing by Blockbuster.

The top tech trend of 2011 may be the escalation of the Web TV wars and WWE should position itself with Apple and the 2010 Financial Times Person of the Year, Steve Jobs.