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March 31, 2014

WWE Network Is Loud Introduction to the Video Streaming Ring

When listing the visionary media moguls of the digital age, Vince McMahon, the professional wrestling impresario, might not immediately come to mind.

Yet Mr. McMahon and his company, World Wrestling Entertainment, have positioned themselves on the cutting edge of Internet television with the WWE Network, a new subscription-only streaming video service. Introduced in February, the network broadcasts the pro wrestling extravaganzas that were once available only on cable and satellite television.

Shares of the WWE, a publicly traded company based in Stamford, Conn., have more than tripled over the last year with the introduction of the subscription network and takeover rumors. Mr. McMahon, 68, controls the company, and his ambitious WWE Network could be his final act in charge, industry watchers say.
Hulk Hogan, left, and Muhammad Ali as a guest referee in 1985. Pro wrestling’s stars have long influenced broadcasting. Credit WWE

“If he changed how pro wrestling and sports entertainment were broadcast forever, I don’t think there’s a better way to go out,” said Brandon Stroud, a wrestling commentator and editor at the sports site With Leather...More?

source: nytimes.com


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