In possibly the biggest shocker of the week, Discovery Communications property Destination America has decided to sign Ring Of Honor to be part of it’s line-up, this according to Destination America’s official twitter account. ROH is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting and has been on their random networks throughout the United States for quite some time. This is ROH’s second cable contract, as they were with HDNet before the channel dropped them some time ago.
Many were under the assumption that TNA was in trouble with Destination America, and may very well still be now that the company has yet another wrestling show. ROH is set to have it’s first broadcast on June 3rd, which is next week. TNA Wrestling was originally set to stay on with Destination America until at least September, which could still be the case. With ROH leading in, maybe TNA numbers could go up.
Very few knew that Destination America was even considering ROH, which is far less known compared to TNA. There is a theory that ROH may have offered some ownership to Destination America in order to get the deal done. Clearly, this deal was done in the dark, as no one in the news world knew negotiations were going on. There was word that ROH was attempting to shop their show around, but apparently, DA bit in a big way.
ROH is set to be a lead-in to Impact Wrestling, so ROH is not taking the place of TNA Wrestling…at least at this point.
In the end, this most likely ended up happening due to the financial gain for the network. ROH didn’t get the high end contract that TNA did. If Destination America chooses to drop TNA, they’ll still have ROH to work with. This is the first time a network has had two different wrestling companies on their channel.
It was reported by Cageside Seats that TNA President Dixie Carter would be speaking to talent about the network issues during their June tapings. Surely, with the addition of ROH, TNA talent will be wondering if this is only a foreshadowing of TNA being pushed out on favor of ROH.
This is the official press report from Destination America regarding the signing of ROH Wrestling.
“Destination America announced today that it has signed a national broadcast deal with professional wrestling league RING OF HONOR, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., bringing one of the most respected wrestling organizations to the only network dedicated to all-American entertainment. Destination America is now the one-two-punch to professional wrestling, adding RING OF HONOR (ROH) to its line-up after launching IMPACT WRESTLING in early 2015. RING OF HONOR has been delivering top wrestling matches for ten years with captivating hard-hitting stars such as Jay & Mark Briscoe, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, The Young Bucks, Maria Kanellis, Adam Cole and Jay Lethal. Destination America will pack on the action beginning Wednesday June 3 with the series premiere of RING OF HONOR at 8/7c leading into brand new premieres of IMPACT WRESTLING at 9/8c.”
“With the electric and intense matches that RING OF HONOR provides, Destination America is the network for fans to get an entire evening of jaw-dropping entertainment on Wednesday nights,” said Marc Etkind, general manager of Destination America. “RING OF HONOR showcases tenacity, athleticism and passion and it serves as the place where America’s favorite wrestling stars are born.”
“We are very excited to be partnering with Destination America for the broader distribution of the ROHprogramming,” commented Joe Koff, Chief Operating Officer – Ring of Honor Wrestling.
“ROH will now reach an additional 57 million households including those in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and other large cities where Ring of Honor is not currently airing. ROH has a loyal fan base and is one of the fastest growing major wrestling franchises in the country. With this great partnership with Destination America, we can continue to expand our footprint and reach while producing entertaining, original content and continuing to provide wrestling fans some of the best wrestling content available.”
“RING OF HONOR will premiere on Wednesday, June 3 leading into IMPACT WRESTLING, making Destination America the home for wrestling every Wednesday evening. The first match will feature the Briscoe Brothers, Mark and Jay, as they face off with the House of Truth in the main event. Also catch athletes of New Japan Pro Wrestling battle it out with the RING OF HONOR stars and follow former NFL lineman Moose compete against BJ Whitmer.”
Many were under the assumption that once Destination America came out on Twitter with the announcement that they signed ROH, they already dumped Impact Wrestling. Apparently, we’re going to see both work together for a while. While the future of TNA is still up in the air, we can assume that Destination America is set for wrestling with or without TNA being around.
[IMG Credit: Destination America Twitter, Adam Cole Twitter]