World Wrestling Entertainment, founded 1952, recently unveiled the WWE Network, a streaming online subscription channel, providing an over-the-top 24/7 channel, including all WWE pay-per-view events.

In the context of most premium channels in the USA only available through higher tier cable subscriptions, the approach is pretty unique and potentially disruptive.

In an interview with Time, Michelle D. Wilson, chief revenue and marketing officer for WWE, stated their reason for bypassing cable companies and instead only offering the WWE Network online: “Digital over-the-top offerings represent the future, and given that our passionate fans consume five times more online video content than non-WWE viewers and over-index for purchasing online subscriptions such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, we believe the time is now for a WWE Network”.

In response to the announcement, DirecTV issued a statement saying that they are re-evaluating whether to continue carrying WWE’s pay-per-view events. [via Wikipedia]

WrestleMania XXX will the first time be available through WWE Network, broadcasted in digital form over the Internet.

While ordering WrestleMania through pay-per-view television costs between $55 to $70, WWE has also made WrestleMania XXX available live through its new WWE Network online streaming service, which costs $9.99 per month with a six-month contract; thus WrestleMania would be the first event available simultaneously on pay-per-view and on the WWE Network. [via Wikipedia]

The success of this new model will define the direction of over-the-top offering in the future, and has the potential to make history.

WrestleMania XXX is airing on WWE Network tonight.