Today’s top story is Destination Americaannouncing a new TV distribution deal with Ring of Honor.
Beginning next Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 8 PM/7 CT, one hour of Ring of Honor will serve as a lead-in for TNA Impact Wrestling, which airs at 9 PM/8 CT.
The story is significant for a number of reasons and comes a week after it was reported by Dave Meltzer that Impact Wrestling is not on Destination America’s Fall 2015 schedule. Another thing to consider is this didn’t just pop up overnight.
On February 17, 2015 we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that Spike TV had preliminary talks with Ring of Honor about airing monthly specials.
At the time, we were told Spike was concerned about ROH’s production quality as well as their lack of mainstream name talent. Spike would have wanted upgrades on both fronts. Since Spike wasn’t willing to absorb those costs, ROH ultimately wasn’t interested. Another thing to consider is that Spike was sold on getting back into pro wrestling after just parting ways with TNA at the end of 2014.
Spike TV president Kevin Kayconfirmed the preliminary talks with Ring of Honor took place.
The reason I bring this report up over three months later is that Ring of Honor has at least been exploring options to gain more television distribution. Another thing though that I believe is worth pointing out in their dealings with Spike is that ROH officials weren’t keen on the idea of their exclusive franchise not being exclusive anymore.
Now, Ring of Honor will no longer be exclusive to Sinclair affiliates and it will air on a cable network that already has professional wrestling programming. New ROH episodes will debut over the weekend on Sinclair affiliates, as that will not change. The change to note is the additional cable airing on Destination America will make Ring of Honor programming available in an additional 57 million homes, including those in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and other large cities where Ring of Honor is not currently airing.