WWE Network Adds New "Sharing" Guidelines

With a plethora of new content being introduced to WWE Network — including collections for both The Rock and Chyna — WWE appears to be cracking down on account sharing.  Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the service would only work on one account at a time — thus putting a damper on users who share their account with friends and family.  In the updated private policy, the Network states that any user caught circumventing the anti-sharing policy is not only subject to their account being terminated, but also potential legal action.  During a recent conference call, WWE’s Chief Financial Officer George Barrios stated that it’s merely a minor alteration to the policy and he does not anticipate revenue slipping due to the change.  WWE announced a subscription total at 1.8 million users for the Network during the call.

Additionally, the company surveyed fans as they gauged interest in a potential upgradeable service on the Network.  For $14.99 a month, subscribers would be able to watch both Raw and SmackDown the day after they air on television — currently fans must wait one month before replays are available to be streamed.  Without any immediate changes in the works, this is merely a talking point for WWE as deal restructurings with both Hulu and USA Network would be needed for this to be possible.

Analysis: I have to give credit to WWE because I initially believed the $9.99 price tag for such a phenomenal service would never last.  I, like many others, believed the minuscule charge was simply a roping-in tactic, and a spike would happen fairly quickly.  This premium service would be a perfect addition, as it would allow those interested in paying more for a special perk to receive it, while allowing everyone else to remain where they are now.

As a subscriber to the Network who has never shared his password, the anti-sharing policy change does not effect me, but it seems a bit harsh on WWE’s end.  I understand they want as many subscribers as they can get, and they believe this policy will curb sharing across a high number of users, but it does nothing but anger users who do share, while leaving the unaffected ambivalent.

What do you think about the changes?  Let us know in the comments below.

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