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   November 28, 2014



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COMMENT





Frustrated Canadian readers rant about WWE Network
By SLAM! Wrestling Readers




We asked and you responded. On Tuesday, August 12th, WWE Network launched in Canada through Rogers. By any comparison, it's a significantly different deal than what the United States has for its $9.99 price (in case you hadn't heard). It's the early days, but here is what some of you are thinking, er, ranting.

Cameron Davidson: In all fairness to WWE Network, for the first month or so that America had theirs, they had similar issues and only a small fraction of content. One day, the whole catalog showed up, and voila. All was forgiven. Like everything else, the glitches have to be worked out. My only fear here is that in the constant attention to marketing the American version of the product, everyone else will take a back seat.

Martin Rioux: While I understand that this version of the WWE network is just a preview until Rogers find a way to get their licence for the network. I still think it suck that most of Canada are not even able to get access to the network until Rogers get their licence from the CRTC and are able to make deals with the other cable distributors. I was happy to learn that the WWE network was coming on cable which meant that I didn't have to buy another device to watch the network on my TV. So I hope, when the network finally makes it to Montreal, I hope you get a better version when they finally get their licence.

Rene Collette: I'm not ordering because i'm not a Rogers Customer and if I want to be it's over roughly $80 a month because you need to purchase the basic package plus you gotta rent your receiver goes from 7 to 15 $ per month then $11.99 for the network plus taxes. It's no longer the $9.99 they are promoting. I already pay $150 with Bell ... Our local radio station has a hour call in show to get the people opinions on what they have on their minds and once they had a show of callers full of complaints against Rogers and their bad customer service and their bad business practices hopefully the network will be available or Shaw direct or even better wwe.com

Paul Maes: I have been a reader of SLAM! Wrestling since 1998 & love the articles & PPV predictions/results that are posted on the website. Yesterday, I ordered WWE Net Pack from Rogers and I knew when it was listed on channel 512 that the network would not be like the US "Netflix" style WWE Network and I also knew, being on TV, that the On Demand selection would be minimal. I am not disappointed, how can anyone be disappointed paying $11.99 for a PPV and saving $40 - $50 a month.


As the WWE has been non-stop promoting the Network for the last couple months, I knew it was too good to be true. I was disappointed that when promoting the network, it was never mentioned that it's only available in the U.S..

I know there will be a lot of disappointed fans about the network, I am not one of them, as I expected that Canada was not going to receive the full content network. I can see if a fan was expecting a Netflix style WWE Network, that 1 channel with limited On Demand content is disappointing. Us Canadians should be happy that WWE expanded internationally only 6 months after the initial launch.

Keep up the good work & articles.

Glen G: I live in Canada and plan to order the WWE Network because for $12/month, I think that is an excellent deal if for nothing else but the PPVs. I do have a few issues with it though. The $12/month is a "preview" price, so what will the price be after the preview period? Also, I was scanning through the schedule on channel 512. I noticed there is no set time table for when most shows are on. It makes it hard to set up a PVR timer for a particular show you might like to record on a regular basis.

Blair Burch: Well, you asked for our thoughts, so here's mine. The second the WWE Network launched I stopped buying WWE PPVs (not that I buy many any more with the state of the current product). I simply refused to pay $50 bucks, while people I can see out my window (I live in a border town) pay $10 for the PPV plus the goodies I really want access to, the back catalog. The offering we get is a sad joke. It's charging more money still at 12 bucks a month then the full services 10 bucks a month while providing what a amounts to an insulting cop-out. Of course, the fact that I live in the town I do means that's not even an option because I couldn't switch to Rogers if I wanted to. They simply do not exist in our area.

The second I have access to the real WWE Network without having to do any quasi-legal finagling I will subscribe. I want that back catalog of old WCW and ECW shows. As long as they continue to insult us and treat us as second class citizens to the rest of the world though, I will not give another dime to the WWE for any product what so ever. This current roll-out is simply nothing more than an insult.

Chris Andrews: It's pretty bad that it took the WWE this long to finally bring the WWE Network to Canada considering we are their next door neighbours. Then to add insult to injury they give us some watered down version of it and still charging $11.99? How pathetic on their part. Pull up your socks WWE!! No wonder their network is failing.

Jeffrey Fleming: Very disappointed.. Rogers isn't available in my area, besides, I'm not going to abandon Shaw. They have been nothing but great. I guess WWE won't be getting my money.

Dave: I spoke with Rogers yesterday night about the 2 week free trial that SLAM! had on it's news article, and Rogers indicated to me they are not offering a 2 week free trial. In order to get the channel you have to buy it.

Jeremy Jagusch: I don't have the network but was waiting to see what the overall reaction was first. Thanks very much for posting that article. Unfortunately its clearly as bad as I feared. Thanks for the warning though!!

Ashley Tucker: I am a Roger's customer a previous editorial on your website stated that the WWE network on Rogers would be offered as a 2 week free preview to Canadians who have Rogers Cable. However that was a lie by them I returned home and turned on channel 512 and the other 3 channels had the same message but all I got was a screen with a phone # on it to call and subscribe to the WWE Network. I like most Canadians deserve a break and should be able to access the online format for the network like all the USA has and the rest of the world.

I am not thrilled that the WWE Network is lacking in content from what I am hearing and reading. On the WWE Network Facebook page it seems that the representatives at the WWE Network support are giving the same answers to everyone and no one is too happy with this -- I being one of them. I was looking forward to seeing the network as I have been waiting 6 months for this day to come here in Canada.

I hope Rogers realizes the error that they just made with this and corrects it for all of us Canadians and also does distribute the network to all Canadians who have other service providers.

Mathieu Lavigne: Couple of thoughts on the Network:

I have been using it since February, taking a fake U.S. address (a Walmart superstore in Florida) and my regular Canadian VISA credit card. With the exchange rate, it amounts to 10.19 CND$

I use Hola Unblocker (free) on Firefox and Google Chrome, connecting for free with a U.S. server and connecting a laptop on my HDTV. It works perfectly.

I have absolutely NO INTENTION of using the Canadian version. I think it is an absolute fraud that Rogers took it for 10 years. Canada is already 10 years late in most technologies and fees associated to technology usage. Think internet speed, cell phone services and cable technologies for instances and compare with Spain, U.S., UK or Japan.

Canada seems like the retarded little brother that you have to wheel everywhere compared to these 170 countries, including Communist China (!!!), Taiwan, India, Norway, France, Mexico, Belgium, Brazil and so many others who probably laugh at us for letting a company like Rogers forbidding us to touch an internet technology... in 2014.

I have been complaining to Videotron in Montreal who don't seem eager at all to offer the channel (I can't call it a Network, it's a channel!). At the very least, they will do it after they can generate the PPV revenues for SummerSlam. I'm expecting a callback from them.

I also created a fake Playstation ID to download the Network on PSN and using a manual DNS address (free and legal, see YouTube), but the Network doens't work at all since February, except, weirdly, for the Vault section.

The internet version is an absolute steal and SO easy to use (and free) with Hola Unblocker, I do not understand at all why people don't do it? At $10.19 for all PPVs, I already feel like a thief. Since I pay, I am a paying customer who "happens" to use the US version. Canada was ripped off by Rogers. On her Facebook, Trish Stratus said "Hey guys, are my Canada peeps watching WWE Network today? Here's a handy dandy guide to finding stratusfaction"... to which people were answering: none, don't have Rogers, no Trish match available, is your match 0025 or 0056, no Network, Rogers doesn't have a signal here, Canada is getting the shit end of the stick, with no archival footage to boot. Thanks Vince... etc etc.

Hope this helps. I really think we got it bad. I don't understand how companies then go out and say pirating is bad, when the biggest reason why people do it is because these same companies make unavailable the stuff we want to pay for. Idiots!

James Sherman: I called it right when they announced that they were bringing it to Canada, that it was going to be a scammed, cut back version. It's classic WWE and Rogers - ALL hype, very little substance, pure cash grab. Vince and Rogers Co are both stuck behind even the record companies with how archaic there thinking is. Vince seems to think that people will grovel for scraps of what Americans get plenty of. And Rogers is just in it as a cash grab, trying to lock everyone else out and force them to pay more for the service for far less content, because you can't get it anywhere else.

Doug Proctor: I have been waiting for WWEnetwork since launch day. Every other country of the 170 available can jave the full network. But us Canadians get shafted. I wonder if Bret Hart likes the 36 hours of on demand service. LOL what a joke. Also like 20 percent of Canadians can get Rogers Cable. So once again I wait to see if I can ever get the WWE network.
Signed, 30 year fan who might never watch again

Marcel Beaudoin: Hmmm, I can pay $12 a month for an anemic set of offerings from the WWE Network, or I can pay $12 a month to the WWE Network, plus an additional $5 to UnblockUS and get complete access to the entire WWE Network catalogue. Not a hard choice to make. Picking what I want to watch, OTOH, is a bit harder.

Al Stronstad: I live in Winnipeg and there are only two providers here, neither of them has any intentions of carrying the WWE Network at this time or in the near future as Rogers has exclusive rights in Canada, they would have to negociate a price with Rogers. Also how can the network (WWE) still advertise the price at $9.99 everywhere?

Jamie MacKay: I've been accessing the WWE Network via a VPN service since launch day back in February. I love it. I was looking forward to the Canadian launch so I could go legit. When I heard the details on the deal with Rogers, I quite quickly decided to maintain the status quo and keep faking a residency in Massachusetts. I'm not sure how WWE managed to negotiate such a ludicrous deal with Rogers, but Rogers is only available to about 20% of the country. Rogers is not available where I live (rural PEI), and a quick call to my satellite provider (Shaw Direct) let me know that they have no immediate plans to air the network. Apparently Rogers now controls all PPV distribution as well, so they could theoretically pull all WWE PPVs from any service provider that won't play ball with them. They could leave 80% of the country with no (legit) way to watch WWE on PPV. So I guess it's a VPN or nothing for this wrestling fan.

Chris Coady: I can’t get Rogers in Arnprior, Ontario. I have only Bell or SHAW and would gladly pay double or triple for the WWE NETWORK like they have in the States. Terrible, WWE Dropped the Ball with Rogers. Just Awful

B. Metcalfe: My only interest now is in old WWWF material from the 60s and 70s. They don't have it, I won't buy it!

Matthew Zawada: I'm living in Truro,nova.scotia. and I have contacted both Eastlink and Bell Aliant and both told me they have no information about the WWE Network. This is unacceptable. I understand the deal Rogers has with the NHL because they will broadcast over their already existing Sportsnet channels that are available across Canada. But to monopolize the WWE Network to one service provider, especially one that has limited coverage (not even avalaible here in Nova Scotia) and then to offer a half-assed version with worthless content for $11.99 a month is the biggest fail the WWE could have made. They have managed in 24 hours to piss off not only the 80% of Canadians that don't have access to Rogers, but even the 20% who do by offering a watered down version of the Network. Whoever was responsible for this deal needs to be fired because clearly they have NO &$#@* IDEA what they are doing over there. Guess all the recent cutbacks the WWE has been making has been to all their competent staff. #wweepicfail #wwenetworkcanadafail #rogersfail #YOU'REFIRREEDDD (Vince McMahon)

Rusty Martel: The WWE "Network" launch in Canada is a dismal failure. It's a stripped down, bastardized version of the American network. I was looking forward to a Netflix style experience of WWE content along with live feeds of shows and PPVs, instead we get essentially a WWE TV channel, with a (very) limited backlog of content. If I wanted to watch WWE on TV, I'd still have my Bell satellite. I was looking forward to an on the go, internet driven, streaming product. I'm sure someone is happy about the arrangement (*cough* Rogers), but not Canadians, and I'm surprised that even WWE would be happy. Canada has always been a huge supporter of WWE content from large main events to local shows, to viewership. Yet when it comes to treatment, we're overlooked, scorned, and forgotten. I, for one, take this as a slap in the face, and have no problem stopping my PPV support. Not only does the WWE not deserve it, but I don't think I could stomach listening to Michael Cole spout out the virtues of the WWE Network for two hours.

adamlee007: As a kid I used to struggle to stay up late...We did not have Cablevision. I used to adjust my tube TV with rabbit ears so I could tune into WWF/WWE. There was Ricky the Dragon... Macho Man...The British Bulldogs... Jessie the Body... Over the years I faded away from Wrestling...then I came back to it...The VERY first thing I saw was D-Generation X in the ring with supersoakers spraying the crowd from their groins...It was the nineties, and the Rock, Stone Cold, Mankind, RVD, Shane and Vince has me in tears, funny and great matches. Now the WWE is terrible, for the last two years I have ordered Wrestlemania just for fun. No matches made me standup...except The Undertaker's streak coming to an end (which I think was a mistake). I was excited for the WWE Network... Now the day is here! I grabbed my credit card! Classic WWF...ECW...oh my! Now it seems I have to be a Rogers subscriber... but I live in BC... Rogers doesn't offer TV out here... For a company that just laid off employees and wrestlers...this seems a bad move... Now I also hear the content is terrible! I was going the setup my PS3 with an American account, but I have decided to NOT give the WWE my money. I will get my old school fix from other outlets. Suck It Vince... The Canadian Screw Job Part 2....Eh

Adam Lane: The release of the WWE Network has been anticipated by me and many of my friends for months. It was supposed to be such a great deal and we all agreed to support this awesome content. I've been a fan for 30 years. We all feel like the Rogers deal is horrible. It seems as we are the only country in the entire world that gets a slimmed down version that less than half of the country has the opportunity to purchase! Rogers is not offered in western Canada or even half of Ontario! This will give a false impression that Canada don't have many wrestling fans according to number of subscribers. Rogers has always been a bully when it comes to things like this. Buying exclusive rights hoping to get more customers. They did the exact same thing with the iPhone in 2007! Yes I'm comparing the WWE Network to the first iPhone release! However this is a 10 year deal! Not a 2-3 year. I have to say what's "Best for Business" is to release the WWE Network like the rest of the world. Rogers isn't even advertising the channel on their website! A Frustrated Fan to the North.

Jason Norwood: I was tempted to use a workaround to check out the WWE Network, as I've been a longtime wrestling fan and would have loved to delve into the archives. I was patient to wait for it to go live in Canada. I have no doubt that Rogers is the reason it didn't go live from the beginning, and now they've screwed even their own customers by offering such a watered-down version of it. I see it this way: Rogers was offering WWE on-demand already. The WWE Network would have taken that revenue stream away, so Rogers did what they always do--throw their considerable weight around and demand that WWE go through them. I certainly don't blame the WWE for trying to make the best of the situation, but it is what it is. I'm not on Rogers, but even if I was I wouldn't pay them $12/month for it.

Chris Stewart: Just wanted to add my 2 cents to the story, as I'm sure many are. I find it hilarious that WWE are bombarding us with WWE network ads on their television shows, that air World Wide, yet has only be made available just now with a seemingly neutered version. As a resident of British Columbia, I can't get it on my Shaw TV, PS3/4, iPad or even my phone. I refuse to get the stream illegally and VPN seems like a hassle for something WWE is trying to force down everyone's throat anyhow. If you aren't happy about how few subscribers you have, why would you make it so difficult to get? I know it isn't intentional, but it sure is tough to not feel jaded when WWE continues to punish passionate wrestling fans. Why they wouldn't just release it online and instead stick it with a small percentage of the Canadian television market is a major head scratcher. I would have bought it day one if I could have when it originally launched, but with the low amount of footage and the fact I'm still expected to pay $59 to watch PPVs I'm almost ready to tell them where to go. Not that they'd care, since I'm a 32 year old wrestling fan that's supported them since I can remember. Which seems to not be who they're after anyhow.

T.J. Hughes: I have Bell TV service, I live in London but am not going to switch service providers so it looks like no WWE Network for me and I am not going to buy PPV’s anymore for $60. Once again WWE drops the ball and disappoints. Good way to lose loyal fans

Mark Perpelitz: I saw on your article that someone stated only 20% of Canadians use Rogers, one of those reasons is because Rogers TV is not even available in most of the provinces in Canada.

RELATED LINKS

  • WWE Network Canadian launch met with dismay
  • The WWE Network is FINALLY available in Canada... sort of ...