Since WWE moved their WWE Network dealings over to Endeavor from BAMTech, they have been doing all they can to entice viewers into getting a subscription.
Earlier this month, WWE quietly launched a free-tier for the Network, one where the homepage for non-subscribers can be seen at watch.WWE.com, as long as you're not logged into an active subscriber account. This version was designed to beta test the free tier and find any potential issues before they officially launched it.
The free service may very well entice fans to get a hold of the Network. WWE's goal is for a strong subscriber base, as stated by WWE Co-President George Barrios at the UBS Global TMT Conference earlier this month.
"We think it's a great experience for those fans who are not subscribers, which is great," Barrios stated via FOX Business. "We want to engage deeper with them, we're going to give them the best short-form experience on this.
"Number two, we think if you're on the fence about becoming a subscriber, living in that environment will make the transition easier for you."
It was previously reported that the WWE Network averaged 1.511 million paid subscribers in the third quarter of 2019, according to WWE's Q3 2019 earnings report. Those numbers were slightly lower than the 1.53 million subscribers projected for the quarter from the last quarterly earnings report. The number is down 9.2% from the same quarter the prior year. WWE projects 1.43 million paid subscribers this quarter, a 10% decline from 1.585 million subscribers in Q4 for 2018.
Barrios ended up stating that the free WWE Network tier will continue to mesh with the premium tier, giving subscribers opportunities like ticket pre-sales and free online shipping purchases.
"All of that, we think, creates a ton of value for our fans and creates the ability to do a premium tier," Barrios went on to say.