Premier Streaming Network aims to give pro wrestling fans the experience they’ve been asking for.
PSN‘s Paul Owen, Josh Shernoff and Fred Shernoff spoke with WrestleZone about the launch of their new network. The trio came together several months ago for this project, which has been built from the ground up. Owen’s background includes work with UFC Fight Pass, WWE Network and FITE, while fans may be familiar with Josh Shernoff’s on-air work with FITE.
“We are digital people. We have worked on digital streaming services, we have people that have worked on the WWE Network with me,” Owen said. “It was very important to us to put a team together that really knew what they were doing.”
The trio noted that it was important to invest in technology that worked, and they couldn’t rest on putting out a subpar product with a dated framework.
“One of our biggest discussions early on was the technology,” Fred Shernoff said. “The experience needs to be there, the technology needs to be reliable. There’s nothing out there like what we have.”
Fred said this idea mostly existed in his head, but it really gained traction after producing the Wrestling Showcase event for FITE. Owen said the first demo site was being built in November, with Josh adding that was the first time they had real conversations about really doing this the right way. Josh noted he and Paul didn’t leave FITE together, but the situation came together like a “perfect storm” after they’d left to explore other options.
“I’m working with two partners who share the same vision as me and that makes it a lot easier than to try and educate somebody on why I feel the way I do about something, Josh added. “As far as what happened — I’m very grateful for my time there [at FITE] and it was a great opportunity, a great learning experience. I had some really fun times there but it was never the end game for me. Working there was never the end game and I’m somebody who is motivated by challenges and I felt like I had reached a point where I was ready for the next challenge.”
“We didn’t see any reason to kick the can down the road or mess around,” Josh said referring to the quick turnaround on the project. “Let’s do this now because two years from now, it’s going to be too late to do something like this. And I think we got in at the right time. It went very, very quickly.”
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The trio is approaching Premier Streaming Network from a fan/consumer perspective and they are part of a streaming generation.
Some of the features fans will appreciate include better sorting options, milestones in full events and hub pages for each promotion or wrestler.
“This is something that I feel like fans have wanted for a long time and I’m super happy that we’ll be able to give it to them. That’s something we’re very proud of,” Owen said.
This is incredibly helpful when sorting through collections; Owen used a Kevin Steen Collection to quickly find a Super Dragon match as an example of how easy the search function and milestones work.
“We’re finding that everybody that sees this agrees,” Owen added. “‘Yeah, that’s the one. That’s the thing we’ve wanted for a long time.’”
Shernoff ruffled some feathers with some remarks made on the Undisputed Podcast with Bobby Fish. At the time, Shernoff said the key goal of Premier Streaming Network was to focus on a good user experience, noting that it was “like pulling teeth” finding content on WWE Network since it moved to Peacock. Shernoff said he hopes now that fans can see what PSN offers they understand why he made the comment in the first place.
“I’m hoping that anyone that’s a little confused by what I meant will go, ‘Oh. Ok. This is what his team’s vision was for this versus what Peacock is doing,” Shernoff said.
Premier Streaming Network is launching with promotions like WrestlePro, CZW and ECWA, with more to be announced in the future. Owen said they are launching with more content than they originally thought, but they’ll add new video when it’s “necessary and when it’s appropriate.”
The group wants the content they air to be at a certain level from a quality standpoint, and they want promotions they can grow with too. Archived content will appear as it was filmed, with Josh Shernoff noting that they have one of the only copies of the original ECWA Super 8 tournament. From a historical standpoint, they felt it was worthy of airing as is. Current promotions will be able to learn different elements from the PSN to improve their product. In addition to his off-air role producing, Josh Shernoff has also served as an interviewer and announcer, as seen on the GLCW Blizzard Brawl event that aired to coincide with the network launch.
Owen compared the whole operation to being a digital museum content curator, noting how much care goes into putting out the best product they could.
“Come on by, you’ll want to come back,” Owen said.
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