The theory behind the WWE Network being viable was that putting the minor PPVs on there for free would be too good for wrestling fans to pass up, right? Every serious fan makes sure the network is in their cable package, ratings for those shows are high, WWE can request big ad dollars for the shows, and then they're making money.
So — with the network on continued hiatus or whatever — wouldn't the thing to do at this point be farm some/all of the minor PPVs out to existing cable networks, to demonstrate that viability to potential investors and advertisers? Put Battleground or whatever on USA, or E!, or NBC if it's not football season, and have some solid numbers to show people who might put money into the network?
Or is that too logical in the face of continuing to make a pittance on PPV buys?
Well they're hardly making a "pittance". 150,000 buys x $60 = more money than any of us will ever see in a lifetime. The issue is less "PPV is not viable/profitable/worth it" and more "The dream of the network will mean more money than even Scrooge McDuck could fit into his vault" and thus they're willing to sacrifice one revenue stream for the risk of creating a torrential revenue river. Point being, there's no reason not to keep milking the PPV cash cow as it stands, especially with the network being vaporware at the moment. Plus they already have a three-hour show on USA, and I could see it being tough to differentiate to network execs what exactly the difference between RAW and PPV is at this point.