PARKS'S TAKE PARKS'S TAKE: Ads on the WWE Network hasn't led to the outrage I expected, plus Random Thoughts on Justin, Cena-Ambrose, Reigns, BFG
Oct 15, 2014 - 8:43:24 AM
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By Greg Parks, PWTorch columnist
The news of ads being inserted into WWE Network programming has not necessarily caused the uproar amongst fans that I expected. It seems that cooler heads have prevailed early on; either that, or there just isn’t a lot of passion about the WWE Network from the fanbase anymore to get them riled up over something like this.
Most online video content provided by major distributors is ad-supported, either before or during the video. There are times when I have to sit through a 15-second ad to watch a 10-second clip on mlb.com. That just seems unfair. But then again, I’m getting the content for free and there’s an unsaid agreement between the two parties (provider and viewer) that the provider has to make money somehow.
But anyone watching the WWE Network has had to sit through ads between shows on the live stream anyway. Granted, it was always ads for other WWE shows or products, but I don’t think it’ll have a great effect on the viewer.
WWE has made an unfortunate habit of airing commercials during their PPVs the last few years, which is much more egregious when fans were paying $65 for the event. For those who have the Network, getting commercials during PPVs is a lot easier to digest when the price tag is $9.99.
Ads on the WWE Network were always a possibility from the outset. I don’t think anyone is going to be canceling their subscription over this news. Even with the ads, the available content on the WWE Network is well worth the $9.99 price, in my opinion. And if adding commercials helps WWE in the revenue department, maybe then they can stop worrying about making enough money to cover the WWE Network start-up and satisfy Wall Street, and focus on tackling the problems with their core product.
The news of WWE not renewing ring announcer Justin Roberts’s contract is a shocker to me. He’s the best at what he does (even if he does have a few verbal peccadillos), and the best since Howard Finkel. He’s also young and camera-friendly, so you have to wonder if there’s more going on here than meets the eye... Sean Radican reported in the PWTorch Newsletter that the Michael Elgin situation where he quit ROH via Twitter is an angle. I left open that possibility in my Parks’s Take last week, but wondered what the advantage would be for building such a story on the basis of ROH booking him for a show they knew he wouldn’t be attending. I’m still not sure what it accomplished, other than getting people to briefly discuss ROH. However, by the time the next news cycle hit, it was all but forgotten... I was disappointed to see WWE give away John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose for free on Raw, rather than have the match at Hell in a Cell. I get the reasoning, that WWE doesn’t want to go into the PPV without a set match against Seth Rollins they can hype. But Monday night’s match was a disappointment. It does mean WWE didn’t burn a full-fledged Cena vs. Ambrose match on PPV, so they can revisit it on another show and it will still feel fresh... With news of Batista’s movie career picking up and the potential of Daniel Bryan needing another surgery, help is not on the way for WWE’s main event scene unless The Rock or Steve Austin decide to lace their boots for WrestleMania. Roman Reigns will come back fresher than he left, but how long until he wears out his welcome again? Does it force WWE to use Brock Lesnar more than they would like to coming up? Or maybe Triple H will feel his presence is needed back in the ring with WWE being light on top? He still hasn't paid off his feud with Roman Reigns with a one-on-one match... TNA has no momentum coming out of Bound for Glory on Sunday. That used to be one show that TNA could count on some fan feedback, usually positive, because of how importantly the show was positioned and treated. For any serious TNA fan, the show had to be depressing to watch. I have more extensive thoughts on Bound for Glory in my full-page column coming up in this week’s PWTorch Newsletter...
(Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. He hosts the VIP Audio Show evern weekend titled “Moonlighting with Greg Parks” commenting on Smackdown and other TV shows and current events. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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