The new version of the WWE Network began this week but as indicated in the past, the new version will evolve over the next several months and WWE officials are excited about what the re-launch will become in the next year.
It was noted during Thursday's Q2 earnings call that the free tier will be coming first with select programming over the next few months, and then the paid VIP tier will come several months after that. There's no word yet on pricing for the VIP version.
Regarding the localization, the first additional languages are expected to roll-out after the paid VIP tier is launched in several months. WWE Co-President George Barrios noted during Thursday's call that all three (free, paid, additional languages) will get done "within the next 12 months or so depending on how the roll-out goes." It's believed that additional tiers and more global localization are planned for the future.
There's no word yet on what will be offered in the paid tier, but it's believed that this could be the long-awaited introduction of non-WWE indie wrestling content on the WWE Network. WWE recently aired EVOLVE's 10th Anniversary Celebration, and it was indicated that events like those could be offered under the paid tier. WWE has had previous Network-related talks with promotions like PROGRESS Wrestling, ICW and WWN Live, the parent company of EVOLVE, SHINE and FIP.
Some of the new features being rolled out this week include better search functions, a more user-friendly design, improved navigation, and localized languages. One of the hot topics on social media, among those who are already seeing the new features, is how the search feature is greatly improved, which is something fans have been asking for.
Another new favorite among fans seems to be the Superstars section, which allows viewers to search content by performer. There have been a lot of comments on how the new version feels and functions like Netflix or Hulu has in the past.
There is also a section that features trending content, based on what users are watching. The Network is also using content carousels now, to feature various pieces of content. It looks like these carousels can be updated to push certain storylines or Superstars, or themes like holiday-related content.
You can see a video look at the new, improved Network version above. Users will need to log out and then log back into their accounts to see the changes, and some platforms won't see the changes as soon as others will. It's expected that the roll-out will be completed on all devices before the weekend is over. It's been noted that no content will be removed during the re-launch.
WWE partnered with Endeavor Streaming earlier this year, after previously working with BAMTech (now called Disney Streaming) to power the Network. The new partnership with Endeavor and the use of their technology will reportedly allow a lot more features, reliability and flexibility when it comes to expanding the Network. WWE has been working on this new version for more than one year, and officials have often talked about how they are very excited about what's to come.