WWE Network, the company's subscription-based 24/7 online streaming initiative, debuted Monday at 9 a.m. via WWE.com, but few fans were able to sign up in the initial hours because of technical issues.
“Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), WWE’s technology partner, was overwhelmed and their systems have been unable to process most orders since 9 a.m. due to demand for WWE Network," read a statement from WWE's communications department early Monday afternoon. "MLBAM has been working aggressively to resolve this issue.”
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Following the debut, WWE put a message on its site titled "WWE Network Experiencing High Demand."
"Please be patient if you’re ordering WWE Network as we’re experiencing extremely high demand. Your order will be processed as soon as possible."
On Monday evening, a Newsday reporter was able to sign up for a seven-day trial account within 2 minutes of logging onto the site.
A WWE spokesperson told Newsday on Monday night, "Major League Baseball Advanced Media’s systems are now processing orders for WWE Network at WWE.com."
WWE Chief Financial Officer George Barrios said in a WWE fourth quarter earnings conference call last week that testing had been taking place on the platform prior to its launch.
The network is a substantial investment by WWE for its future. Last week the company announced a fourth-quarter operating loss of $12.2 million, with investments for the network launch specifically mentioned.
Barrios expects the company will have a $12-$15 million loss in the first quarter of 2014 based in part on the impact of the network launch. Along with other network programming, subscribers will get access to all 12 WWE pay-per-views, all for $9.99 per month.
Along with all the company's pay-per-views and access to WWE's video library, the company has released a network programming schedule for this week and beyond.
* WrestleMania Rewind
* Provides fans with the most dramatic moments in WrestleMania history. The series premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m., and opened WWE Network programming Monday with a sneak peek.
* The show's audience will be able to discuss and rank WWE’s Superstars, unexpected moments, best catch phrases and more through digital polling and social media. The series premieres on Tuesday at 10 p.m.
* This is NXT
* This show will feature behind-the-scenes moments and in-ring action from WWE’s Performance Center, where the next generation of Superstars are being developed. The series premiered Monday at 11 a.m.
* NXT ArRival
* On Thursday at 8 p.m. WWE's first live in-ring event will air. The special will showcase WWE’s rising stars from WWE’s Performance Center, as well as appearances by WWE Superstars John Cena, Sheamus, The New Age Outlaws and WWE Legends Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. The NXT ArRival Pre-Show will air at 7:30 p.m.
* Best of Raw
* Every Wednesday at 9 p.m., the show will feature some of the most memorable moments featured over the years on Monday Night Raw. The series premieres at a special date and time, Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
* WWE Superstars
* A one-hour, weekly show will highlight WWE Superstars and Divas in action, as well as highlights from all WWE programming. The series premieres Thursday at 10 p.m.
* Best of SmackDown
* WWE Network will showcase the most exciting episodes of SmackDown. The series premieres on Saturday at 1 p.m.
* Beyond the Ring
* An all-access pass to WWE’s home video library. The series premieres on Saturday at 8 p.m.
WWE Legends’ House
* WWE Superstars from the past, including "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Tony Atlas and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan move in together as the house staff tries their best to keep these Legends on time, on speaking terms. The series premieres April 10 at 8 p.m.