Like it or not, WWE Programming is a billion-dollar enterprise. It has been around for more than 35 years and has a strong recall value and a concrete place in pop culture – whether it’s Indian or foreign countries. Since the 2000s, WWE has tried to become relevant in mainstream and has tried to make a foray in India. It had some mixed results back in the day, but with the internet penetration like what it is today, WWE Programming might just the next big thing for streaming.
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The time for this is ripe, and with the right strategy, WWE might hit it big in India. Like any big media house, it would have lakhs of hours of content, including for-tv shows and pay per views. With sports entertainment having a big spot in Indian pop culture, that kind of content could work wonders. WWE has its own network, which it sells subscriptions for $9.99, but that’s not harped upon in India. But, legit WWE content has cropped up online now and then. It has a very popular YouTube channel. Several Facebook pages broadcast WWE programming and some of them even show complete matches – albeit in the lowest quality. But it still works when you are watching it on a mobile device.
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Netflix has already placed itself into the sports entertainment category with their web series about Mumbai Indians. Hotstar, on the other hand, has a premium, sports only plan. The only big player lacking in sports-related content in India is Amazon Prime.
There’s some buzz in the mainstream media about WWE stars as well. Varun Dhavan is a self-professed Rock fan, A character playing The Undertaker – he wasn’t Mark Calloway, by the way – has been part of Khiladiyon ka Khiladi, so on and so forth. So, the combined star power of Bollywood stars and the WWE superstars might very well put this thing in motion, which is always good news for Indian WWE fans.
With WWE corporate being the well oiled machine that it is, it could only be a matter of time when now CEO Hunter Hearst Helmsley walks into a Bollywood media house and offers them the WWE programming and signs up with them.