World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is facing criticism from fans today after increasing the subscription price of its video-streaming network from the much-trumpeted $9.99 per month to a less-affordable $14.99.
The price hike is drawing particular ire because it comes immediately after an episode of WWE’s flagship program, Raw, during which commentators and performers reiterated the $9.99 price an estimated 750 times.
The company is being accused of employing a bait-and-switch strategy, promising a lower subscription rate and then introducing the higher price only after the would-be subscriber has been given a tantalizing glimpse of Stacy Kiebler’s buttocks.
Subscription to the WWE Network also now requires a 10-year commitment, as opposed to the six months previously mandated.
It is believed that the company has jacked up the price to offset its reported $14.5 million second-quarter losses, though some fans believe the price hike reflects the influence of the company’s new Chief Financial Officer, T. DiBiase.
WWE executives hope the impending launch of the WWE Network in international markets will boost subscriptions — especially in Canada, where it is being priced at “aboot seven Toonies.”