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rzombie1988

Has wrestling gone overboard with the various streaming services?

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I used to review everything for my blog, and even with a $100+ cable bill a month, it didn't cut the mustard.

 

To review the same stuff I used to review, I could easily see a near $200/month bill if I count cable plus various wrestling streaming services.

 

Right now, these are some of the companies with streaming services:

 

- WWE

 

- ROH

 

- NJPW

 

- Stardom

 

- DDT(Upcoming)

 

- FlowSlam

 

- IIRC Chikara has one

 

- Plus a whole host other companies.

 

While I really like the idea that you can buy or stream any show at any time, I think the various companies are asking a lot for what they give. $10/month for a show or two isn't that much, but on top of everything else, it is. And with recurring subscriptions, that's quite a bit to catch up on.

 

The economy is also really rough right now. I know some software developers and people at higher levels are making big bucks, but the average joe isn't. Most people I know are working 2-3 jobs and are working more than anyone else, so they don't even have time to watch TV. I truthfully don't see how average people with kids are surviving right now.

 

The one thing I really don't like about the VOD/Monthly Subscription model is that it makes it very unlikely that anyone not looking for it will find it. No casual fan is just going to buy this stuff unless its the WWE network. Having TV helps a lot, but the promotions without TV aren't going to see huge success in my opinion.

 

I think the best bet for any company not named WWE is to try to find partners to work with to bundle in a deal, but one of them is going to have to have TV or they might as well forget it. Or if the various companies could convince WWE to take them on for an additional price, which the WWE has considered doing.

 

What do you guys think?

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Most companies were never going to find more than a niche audience under any model. I don't see that as a product of VOD at all. Broadly speaking, a hardcore fan can get more wrestling bang for his buck than at any time in history, and companies reach that fan more easily than ever before. The streaming boom is still in its early days, and I imagine we'll see plenty of sorting and consolidation. But I see it as a pretty large net positive for the industry.

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Most companies were never going to find more than a niche audience under any model. I don't see that as a product of VOD at all. Broadly speaking, a hardcore fan can get more wrestling bang for his buck than at any time in history, and companies reach that fan more easily than ever before. The streaming boom is still in its early days, and I imagine we'll see plenty of sorting and consolidation. But I see it as a pretty large net positive for the industry.

 

I do think it is a great time for availability for hardcore fans in some ways but bad in others. Streaming, uploading and torrent sites were completely nuked by DMCA's. Youtube and Dailymotion used to have a ton of stuff but a lot of it is gone. Tape trading has also started to die off. But on the legal end, there's more access than ever before, if you can afford it.

 

I definitely think companies are going to have to group together to really succeed, and even then, I don't know.

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When new technology comes along, wrestling's typical approach to it is to ride it into the ground until it's no longer viable. So I don't expect to see the end of this anytime soon. I do think consolidation for a lot of the non-WWE companies would ultimately be a good thing when they start to see big signs of decline, even if it means they see a smaller piece of the pie. But we aren't there yet.

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When new technology comes along, wrestling's typical approach to it is to ride it into the ground until it's no longer viable. So I don't expect to see the end of this anytime soon. I do think consolidation for a lot of the non-WWE companies would ultimately be a good thing when they start to see big signs of decline, even if it means they see a smaller piece of the pie. But we aren't there yet.

 

I think it would be a great time right now for a Pro Wrestling This Week type of show to come out. I'm really surprised one of the ESPN's or Fox Sports' haven't thought of giving it a try. It would benefit everyone and the overhead really wouldn't be that much. And with some of their shows only doing 100,000 viewers anyway, I think a type of show like this could hold its grown for 30 minutes a week.

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I think it's great. My house isn't cluttered with DVDs anymore and for the price of buying those 3 or 4 DVDs a month for 2 promotions, I can subscribe to the streaming services of maybe 6-8 promotions depending on price. And when hockey season comes along I can cut down on my subs and just catch up during the summer when I have less to watch.

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I wanted to add to my previous post. This is also really good for companies because it allows them to bring in more fans. I wouldn't be able to sell someone on following Chikara and having to shell out money for DVDs every month but they would put that $7 down for the streaming service. Same with me and Stardom. I wouldn't spend the money on DVDs but I check them out for the $4.99 a month. It's fan friendly and if companies levered it right, they could probably get more fans coming to shows. Reducing the barrier of entry for fans money wise is a good thing for everyone.

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I used to review everything for my blog, and even with a $100+ cable bill a month, it didn't cut the mustard.

 

To review the same stuff I used to review, I could easily see a near $200/month bill if I count cable plus various wrestling streaming services.

 

 

i'm curious, what caused the $100+ increase when reviewing the same stuff?

 

If anything, streams have cut down on VOD/DVD purchases [Mad Dog's point above].

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I have Netflix and Amazon, but would've added Hulu just for Lucha Underground. I think a small company could do decently trying to link up with one of those services. Last I read, Netflix's offer for LU was too low, but the number of eyes on their product could increase by what? 10 times at least?

 

I know the math isn't so simple as saying LU gets 100k viewers on TV currently and Netflix has 75 million subscribers so they would automatically become the most watched wrestling in the US, but it would clearly benefit the company in terms of exposure and potential future profits through increased merchandising and potential mini-tours. I also don't see how releasing Season 1 on Netflix in 2017 and then Season 2 a year later and so on and so forth isn't just pure profit - I mean, those shows are essentially paid for already and, at a certain point, sales for these older episodes on iTunes must drop off almost entirely, right?

 

I don't know enough about Amazon/Hulu/Netflix's dealings for current programming or how profitable LU is for the El Rey Network or any of that stuff, but some one, somewhere, in some wrestling company should be making their top priority getting episodic wrestling on one of these streaming juggernauts.  

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I'd easily subscribe if 2-3 smaller companies partnered up.  There is zero reason to expect it, but consolidation would force me to come up with reasons not to subscribe whereas now I'd need a really incredible reason to commit to any of them.  I wonder if there might be more opportunity for cross-marketing between an American & Japanese company, as that might reduce concerns about stepping on toes in each's local market while offering a way to reach out to a niche in each country.  But it might also be a lot more work than the resulting sales would justify.

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I used to review everything for my blog, and even with a $100+ cable bill a month, it didn't cut the mustard.

 

To review the same stuff I used to review, I could easily see a near $200/month bill if I count cable plus various wrestling streaming services.

 

 

i'm curious, what caused the $100+ increase when reviewing the same stuff?

 

If anything, streams have cut down on VOD/DVD purchases [Mad Dog's point above].

 

Cable is already quite expensive, but I think it's clear every promotion is going to be doing VOD soon. Some are just going to take longer than others. It's going to add up unless they start consolidating. I don't pay that now, but I can see it getting near that point.

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I used to review everything for my blog, and even with a $100+ cable bill a month, it didn't cut the mustard.

 

To review the same stuff I used to review, I could easily see a near $200/month bill if I count cable plus various wrestling streaming services.

 

 

i'm curious, what caused the $100+ increase when reviewing the same stuff?

 

If anything, streams have cut down on VOD/DVD purchases [Mad Dog's point above].

 

Cable is already quite expensive, but I think it's clear every promotion is going to be doing VOD soon. Some are just going to take longer than others. It's going to add up unless they start consolidating. I don't pay that now, but I can see it getting near that point.

 

 

I'm a cord cutter. Playstation Vue costs me $45 a month and gives me all the channels I need.

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Tech always changes behaviors and patterns. VOD/Streaming is very much in the process of finding its footing and in the process of changing the way people watch wrestling.  I think every type of fan will see this change (hardcore fans that want to watch everything to casual fans).  It is tough to say how things will ultimately pan out. What the landscape will look like 6 months from now is tough to say, let alone a year or two or five.

 

The fact of the matter is all TV is moving to Streaming services. It is just slower in some areas for a variety of reasons. If anything wrestling is kind of a head of the game and companies are sort of on their own, feeling around in the dark.  Fans are in a similar position, trying to figure out the most economical way to expose themselves to the wrestling they want, pinning down the watching patterns that work for them.

 

Consolidation is inevitable.  I wont be at all surprised if WWE picks up some other companies formally and co-runs them for the network, even if that is only for say 1/2 of that company's shows (think Austin podcast but with actual wrestling). I am guessing their dream is to run a network that has 4-5 different "promotions" on it, all under the WWE banner with the logo predominately present on each, more or less co-opting other styles, genres, and so on. That is - of course - a LONG way off. 

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Isn't Floslam a bunch of different promotions? Maybe I'm wrong as I don't subscribe. How about that Powerbomb tv? I thought that was supposed to be similar. Sorry if I'm way off here.

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I have.. Netflix, NHL.TV, WWE Network, and FloSlam and that's it. I cut the cord on cable a decade ago now.

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I would have cut the cord, but I need a home phone line and cable internet is the most reasonable in my area. The bundle is a good bit cheaper to the point where I wouldn't save anything if I just did phone and internet.

 

It will be a bit before I am able to cut cable out all together and have it make sense, but I will.  If I have Netflix, HBOGo, Hulu, WWE, and a rotation of other wrestling streaming services I will be just fine.  Again, It is only a matter of time before almost everything is streaming and subscription based.

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Stardom's service is impressively accessible for Western fans.  The site & interface is designed for those who speak English and the subtitles they include on all promos in post-production make the shows a very fun and easy watch.  If you enjoy or are open to the style, this is one effort to expand the company's reach I'd reward.

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Stardom's service is impressively accessible for Western fans.  The site & interface is designed for those who speak English and the subtitles they include on all promos in post-production make the shows a very fun and easy watch.  If you enjoy or are open to the style, this is one effort to expand the company's reach I'd reward.

Yeah it's great. Time and money is the only thing stopping my sub on that.

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I suspect in 10 years the various streaming sites will have so much of their own exclusive content that you have to pay the same prices as cable to see everything you want.

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Not to pile on but unless we are complaining that companies cracked down on pirating because they are offering almost all of their content on individual services I'm not sure what the issue is. There probably are too many services out there and I wouldn't recommend subscribing to any INDIVIDUAL promotions unless that is your complete and utter jam.

 

For my money Highspots is delivering by far the best value with Beyond Demand probably not too far behind. Highspots obviously has the systems in place to get a lot of content on their service that is both new and old, appealing to more niches than most. You have all their shoots, the latest PWX shows which has notable indie talents, PWG shows from a year ago and before, plus other random indies that are either current or from the 2000s. Beyond despite only being an individual promotion puts out the raw footage of their shows incredibly quick and eventually follow up with the full edit. The raw footage feels like something not  a ton of promotions do and I actually think it puts a different perspective on some matches. They have also put up interviews with Biff Busick and Keith Lee to add variety to their content. In my eyes, if you are going it alone then they are the prime promotion to look at for guidance on how it should be done. You also have wXw Now but I think what holds them back is their footage being available on Highspots.

 

I agree on the whole though, we have to start seeing some consolidation from promotions that don't have a big footprint. You look at Powerbomb and if that service comes out and works then it will give a variety of promotions some shine. Honestly, I think FloSlam is doing a rather bad job at that but does appeal to the people that I want "live wrestling". 

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I'm excited to revisit this topic 6 months , a year down the road
See who has joined the party , what they are charging . Who has left the party , who has combined forces . How powerbomb.tv is doing what highspots and flowslam look like etc

I am wondering what happens to the average price point as well

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Good time to revisit this since I have been watching a ton of stuff on Powerbomb.tv ever since Beyond came on board. YouTube ending their paid channels service allowed this beautiful relationship to happen. They are live streaming the New Year’s Eve show with Janela vs David Start to be the first match of 2018 (it’s also a fans bring the weapons match, btw). The Smart Mark Video partnership also helped add value, with stuff like AIW and IWA Mid-South getting getting added (though IWA M-S has remained available on HighSpots, as well). They also have a beta Roku channel that is working pretty acceptably at this point and was just improved last week. Hard to not be optimistic about where they are headed in 2018.

 

Obviously Floslam was a massive flop, which I think was to be expected as time went on and they were not adding more promotions with name value and showing that they were clueless. Time will tell how the Club WWN model will work out. I think that eventually they will need to include live streams of their shows in their base price or get left behind.

 

HighSpots has continued to set the pace from my perspective when it comes to offering such a wide variety of content for fans who like to diversify their viewing. It’s not uncommon for me to spend several hours a week watching their stuff, whether it is shoots, PWG, wXw, CZW, older classic content like their Memphis comps, or random indies. It’s an unrivaled value in the market to me.

 

NJPW World became slightly more accessible with the (still slightly-wonky i.e. being logged out of your account often) Amazon Fire TV app but won’t really start to touch their North American subscriber potential until they are on more platforms (Roku and Apple TV, especially). The Omega/Jericho match will help that, too. I know there are other mitigating circumstances regarding streaming content in Japan but hopefully they can up their game in the English speaking world as they continue to run shows in the US.

 

WWE Network is pretty great, obviously, with 100 eps of early ‘80s Mid-Atlantic on tap for January. They have added a lot of great stuff over the past year, plus done their surveys asking people what they want, rumors of tiered subscription levels, etc. It’s not without its flaws but has gotten consistently better. I know most/all of us here hope they continue to phase out their original content and add more classic content.

 

There will supposedly be an ROH streaming service starting in 2018 that really is nothing more than a vague acknowledgment in a Joe Koff interview at this point, so we’ll see if that comes to fruition. Plus there are the numerous companies that use the Pivotshare platform that HighSpots uses. TNA is on the free Pluto TV app and GFW started their own streaming service. It seems like on the whole, wrestling streaming is still expanding and sorting itself out.

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