The announcement of the new WWE Network was a big one for wrestling fans and the company. The network would provide 24/7 programming along with broadcasts of all Pay Per Views included in the price. A dream come true for any WWE fan, not as many people as Vince McMahon had hoped jumped on board. A lot of the blame can be put on one thing: the Internet.
Technology like the Internet has helped wrestling build an audience, but at the same time it has punished it in other ways. Spoilers are everywhere on the dirt sheets and a search engine can let you know the results for Smackdown once it finishes taping on Tuesday night long before it airs on Friday. Readily available spoilers like these hurt the allure of wrestling and in many ways give fans a reason to not bother watching.
I consider myself a wrestling fan yet in the last 5 years I have not watched more than 5 or 6 episodes of RAW and Smackdown combined. Still, I have a good grasp on the landscape of the current WWE through reading spoilers, results, and watching videos on YouTube at my convenience.
This convenience factor also has made the WWE Network unimportant. Fewer people are bothering to pay for cable thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and other on-demand websites where you can watch movies and television shows. Instead of watching the live episode of RAW many people can DVR it. Instead of using DVR people can seek out the most important parts of each episode online, often available soon after.
Now that RAW is 3 hours long fans are forced to dedicate their entire Monday night to the show. This causes a trickle down effect. Fans lose interest in the show therefore lose interest in any special packages like the WWE Network. Cramming a 2 hour show into a busy schedule is far easier than a 3 hour one. Again, the Internet helps gives people the availability to only focus on the stories they want to then catch up by briefly reading a description of everything else.
Because all information from shows is available online there is less of a reason to dedicate so much time to watching the show when there are other options out there. Older classic matches are also pointless to air on WWE Network as these can be seen elsewhere.
The big problem is that there is no reason to watch the network and several reasons not to. Times are still tight financially, and spending money to watch a wrestling exclusive network is not a top priority when you can already get all of the information online.