Whatcha gonna do Peacock when Wrestlemania runs wild on you? Comcast’s streaming service is now the home of the WWE and has replaced the network app which supplied the promotion’s fans with monthly pay-per-view events. This weekend will be a very important test of how well it can handle streaming major live events. Wrestlemania is essentially pro wrestling’s Superbowl, though the numbers of course pale in comparison to the big game. But it’s likely that more fans will be jumping on the app to see the two-day event than have ever concurrently accessed the streamer before. And it had better have the bandwidth to handle it.
There is precedence for this not working smoothly. HBO Go, which was HBO’s TV everywhere app before HBO Max replaced it, crashed during a season debut of Game Of Thrones, multiple networks have had problems during the streaming of the actual Superbowl, HBO Max customers had trouble accessing the 4-hour cut of the Justice League when it launched, Sling TV had problems the first year it began to stream NCAA tournament games. There is really nothing mysterious about why this happens. The servers get overburdened and such. Anyone who tried to get an appointment with Walgreens early on for the Covid Shot knows this misery. The only thing that is confusing is why these powerful media companies with billions to spend on them constantly fail to learn from their own mistakes or the mistakes of competitors.
Peacock’s website has two challenges this weekend. One is providing a clear and constant stream of the event. The other is making sure the website does not crash as people who have yet to sign up for the service descend on the website to not only sign up but get the premium access required to watch the event. Disney+ under a crush of interest on its launch day saw the site crash. That of course was under the weight of millions upon millions trying to access it. The interest in Wrestlemania will not be close to what we saw when Disney+ launched but the question is how heavily did Comcast invest in the infrastructure of the service.
Comcast has the know-how to pull it all off. After all, the company has a major streaming-based platform aside from Peacock and is in itself one of the largest Internet providers in the world. But if this does not work out you can better believe that WWE Twitter will be a very unhappy corner of the Internet brother. Does Comcast have a plan for it all? IT DOESN’T MATTER IF COMCAST HAS A PLAN FOR IT ALL! What matters is if it works. The WWE audience is loyal to the promotion and if Comcast/Peacock serves the audience well it will be rewarded with a consistent income stream and a lot of fun cross-promotional opportunities. After its test run last month this will be the grand opening event.