WWE and Apple TV

Nick Paglino, writing for Wrestle Zone:

When the WWE Network launches on Monday, WWE will be offering a free one week trial of the Network, and it should be noted that customers who are interested in the free trial will still have to provide credit card information. The actual Network subscription fee will be charged to the card you provide if you do not cancel the subscription before the trial period ends.

In related Network news, The Wrestling Observer is reporting one of the main reasons why it’s not being made available via the Apple TV is because Apple is demanding a 50% cut from all Network orders placed, whereas other streaming devices such as XBox and Roku are only taking a 30% cut.

Background (via DF reader Brian Papa): The Wrestling Observer is a highly-regarded long-standing subscriber-only newsletter; much of what they report is then re-reported by free sites like Wrestle Zone.

This strikes me as ominous, if it’s accurate. Apple has steadily stuck to a 70-30 split for digital content. That’s how they split music sales, apps, in-app purchases, and books. Why press for 50-50 on Apple TV? Especially since WWE could, presumably, launch an iPad app that uses AirPlay to stream to Apple TV. A native Apple TV channel is just a convenience for the user, not a reason for Apple to press for a bigger split.

My gut feeling is that there’s something wrong about this report.

Update: I missed this MacRumors story on February 3:

WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson did, however, say that the service would also be available on “a connected device I am not allowed to mention at this press conference,” presumably alluding to the Apple TV. Attendees at the service’s introductory event were also given Apple TVs to take home.

I think the confusion here stems from a confidentiality agreement that prevents the WWE from saying anything about Apple TV until the channel actually launches in an Apple TV update — presumably sometime in the next few days.

Update 2: The WWE channel appeared in a software update for Apple TV on Monday, 24 February. So yeah, the report was wrong.

Friday, 21 February 2014