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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Magnificent Anticipation

Sunday
March 9, 2014

My long-awaited vacation has begun. On tap: Las Vegas (lone wolf edition) then Seattle with my good friend Scott and quite possibly a visit into Canada with a side trip to Vancouver. Should be a blast.

As great as the trip will be, I've actually done my best to not think about the looming fun. It hasn't been that tough, surprisingly, with the seemingly never-ending crazy winter weather keeping things very busy at work and enough adventures here to eliminate any possibility of boredom.

The trip should be very open-ended, which is normally how I like things, though I will be going to see a Seattle MLS home game for sure since those tickets have been purchased. I've heard they are very fun and it will be interesting to see how it contrasts with my experience at the Columbus Crew game I attended last year.

I'll be staying at the Palms in Vegas, which should be interesting. The trip will be different than 2003 and this past January in several ways, not the least of which is that I'll be in lone wolf mode for it. There is a complicated back story to that which I might expand upon on here later. Luckily I'm like mercury and can adapt to almost any situation, and sometimes impromptu scenarios end up being the most fun.

My 2014 schedule is starting to fill up a bit, with my sister getting married in June and my buddy Brook getting married in Miami the weekend after Christmas. Booking the time off from work will be the trickiest part, as it usually is, though I will have the days available to take. I'm not complaining -- you work in TV news, you have to deal with scheduling challenges. But it will likely test the limits of my creativity.

I signed up for the WWE Network last month, which is in many ways one of the most aggressive moves a major company has made to date as far as providing content online goes. Over the past 15 years or so, WWE has obtained the rights to an incredible volume of American pro wrestling company video libraries. The original plan had been to use that content within the course of creating a traditional television network.

However, trying to launch a new channel proved to be very challenging for WWE, with major cable bohemiths and satellite providers like DirecTV and Dish Network being a challenge to obtain clearances through at the rate WWE would have liked. Overtures to purchase an existing channel and flipping it like a radio station format (like what Fox Sports did with SPEED and Fuel TV to create its two national sports channels) apparently didn't pan out, in no small part because such a much is cost-prohibitive.

Instead, WWE made a very bold move by shifting to an internet distribution model, which in many ways is the end game for content outlets. You already see it in radio, with some companies set up to handle sales and distribution, but this is the future. Much like how cell phones have made landlines obsolete in many cases, internet distribution will trump cable/satellite in many cases. Eventually. Cord cutters will someday become the mainstream.


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