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Friday January 24, 2014 4:52 pm

WWE Network coming to Apple TV, suggests company exec

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Home Entertainment, Videos

WWE Network Apple TV

During CES, WWE announced the ambitious WWE Network project, a service that will see live 24/7 programming paired with a vast on-demand content library for $9.99 in what's considered a first-of-its-kind over-the-top service. WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer, Michelle Wilson, announced the vast number of hardware partners and devices that will be able to access the Network when it launches on February 24th, and they included iOS devices, Android devices, Roku, Kindle Fire tablets, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Playstation 4. Later this summer Xbox One and Smart TV platforms get added to the list.

This left many wondering if the Apple TV would support the new venture. As I had noted previously here, as well as in an audio hotline on PWInsider, if you own an iOS device or Mac, you'll be able to AirPlay WWE Network content directly to the Apple TV. This is how the UFC Fight Pass supports Apple's set-top box. However, it seems that the WWE Network will, in fact, get a dedicated Apple TV channel.

Check out the video of the WWE Network presentation above. At about the 8:20 mark, Wilson says "a connected device that I am not allowed to mention at this press conference…" which would lead one to immediately assume she is talking about the Apple TV (and the rumored new Apple TV model and software refresh is on its way.) After all, Apple sold more Apple TVs last quarter than Roku has sold in its entire company history. But then, an attendee at the front of the auditorium holds up the Apple TV unit that WWE gifted to them, and she says "You got the joke, I love it." If you were watching the feed you would have missed this part. Originally I was under the impression that WWE just gave out Chromecast devices to attendees, but since then I've learned that some got the Chromecast, and others got an Apple TV. You can see one in the image at the top of this article.

Apple is heavily rumored to be releasing a revamped Apple TV box with new software that supports a much wider array of apps, which is likely the reason for the secrecy. We'll know closer to launch, but I'll keep digging for more info on this topic. At this time, it's unknown if the Network will appear natively on the Apple TV at launch, or later this summer. Either way, AirPlaying to Apple TV from iOS devices and Macs will work on day one.

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