What began a few months ago as an SVOD service dedicated to re-playing WWE footage will today sprout several business lines based on former wrestling greats as WWE formally unveils its "Legends" initiative at the Licensing Show in NY. WWE will tout past heroes through appearances, a line of vintage apparel, action figures, video games, DVDs, collectables and other licensed products. "[SVOD service] WWE 24/7 has become the focal point for their renaissance," he adds. "While many of these guys had their day in the sun as champions and cultural icons, that footage hasn’t seen the light of day [in years]. And now as we’re beginning to bring it to the public [again], it’s rekindled all kinds of business for us, books, consumer products, collectables and a more-than-healthy DVD business," svp Tom Barreca says. Unlike WWE wrestlers who are on the road performing 50 weeks/year, the Legends are readily available for appearances and promos, including for cable affiliates. In addition, they’re spread out throughout the country "and able to cover the nooks and crannies where our distributors are," he says. They’ll also appear on WWE’s "Raw" program and push WWE 24/7. "We’ve found this TV sandbox on WWE 24/7 is great to promote various businesses…we’re nothing if not really great cross promoters."

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