WWE PPVs have been streaming on their own wrestling streaming service for quite some time but that all might be coming to an end soon.
Per Bleacher Report:
WWE is reportedly in talks to sell its pay-per-view rights to ESPN, which would then air the events on its ESPN+ subscription service.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Ryan Droste of ComicBook.com), WWE became interested in selling its pay-per-view rights after seeing ESPN pay UFC a significant amount to air its pay-per-views.
Since 2014, WWE has aired its pay-per-view events on its own streaming service—WWE Network. For a price of $9.99 per month ($119.88 per year), wrestling fans currently have access to every current WWE pay-per-view, every old pay-per-view and thousands of hours of other original and retro content.
An ESPN+ subscription is actually cheaper than WWE Network at $4.99 per month, although that doesn’t take into account possible additional costs for WWE pay-per-views.
In order to watch a UFC pay-per-view on ESPN+, viewers must have a $4.99 ESPN+ subscription and pay an additional $64.99 for each event. Assuming WWE would air its pay-per-views exclusively on ESPN+, that would likely be a tough sell for WWE fans who are used to paying less than double that for an entire year of pay-per-views.
Another question regarding a potential deal between WWE and ESPN is if it would include NXT TakeOver pay-per-views as well. If it does, then it stands to reason that WWE Network would see a steep drop in subscriptions.
The departure of NXT left WWE pay-per-views as the clear reason to keep the network, but getting rid of those would be another massive blow to the streaming service.
Fans would essentially be left to decide if access to old pay-per-views and shows, original non-in-ring content and secondary shows like NXT UK and 205 Live would be worth $9.99 per month.
Short answer: NO.
As more and more streaming services seem to come out I see smaller streaming services like WWE Network, Shudder, and DC Universe all being absorbed into bigger entities. But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.