The final hours of the 2013 Digital Newfronts are nearly upon us. We’ve seen exciting deals, like Blip’s investment in Ray William Johnson and partnership with Fremantle to take on the YouTube-renewal-reject The Pet Collective; we’ve seen inflated deals like Awesomeness’s acquisition by Dreamworks Animation.
But what of the two WWE deals that were glossed over by the media — the “exclusive” syndication and development deals with Yahoo (announced Monday) and Hulu (announced Tuesday).
Let’s look at the deals side by side.
Earlier this week at the Yahoo Newfront, Executive VP of WWE Stephanie McMahon announced that Yahoo would become the “exclusive” home for two new original WWE shows as well as a 30 minute live pre-show every Monday night before “Monday Night Raw.” 24 hours later Hulu also noted that it would be the exclusive distribution partner for “Monday Night Raw.”
So viewers theoretically will tune in to Yahoo for a live-streamed pre-show then, assuming this is all happening in real time, watch “Monday Night Raw” on their televisions and then later head to Hulu for some casual on-demand viewing of “Monday Night Raw”? Will they watch a taped archive of Yahoo!’s pre-show then head over to Hulu to watch the actual show?
What a lofty expectation for WWE’s middle-America, technology-stunted viewership!
Next, Yahoo noted it was also confirmed to receive “hundreds of hours” of archived WWE content, for which it would build a dedicated hub. Again, as part of its presentation, Hulu announced it too would be the “exclusive digital home” for WWE, housing its “top rated shows and archives.”
And to round out the distribution deal, Yahoo is set to air live, pre-show streams for pay-per-view events. Well Hulu isn’t in the business of “live” so Yahoo has an edge there. Hulu won’t be receiving two original made-for-web shows from WWE, so another win for Team Yahoo, but either way, the real value is in WWE’s existing library of content.
And judging by the two announcements, that library of archived content is anything but exclusive.
Bravo to WWE for playing the field like a true two-timing bachelor. Kudos to the business for pulling two really solid deals while convincing both parties the deals were “exclusive.”
Afterall, don’t hate the player, hate the game.
Here’s a side by side scorecard of the deal:
WWE Archives and Clips
Two original shows
Pre-Show + Pre-Event Live Streams
“Monday Night Raw” episodes