NJPW announced yesterday that they’ve partnered with the Roku Channel to broadcast in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada every Thursday at 5pm EST, with the ability to watch content on-demand soon as it’s available.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Roku was not the only network interested in working with the promotion, as they fielded offers from the likes of ESPN, and Vice, which airs the popular wrestling-based series “Dark Side of the Ring.” However, the report notes that those deals would not have benefitted NJPW in the long-run.
Another network that had interest was the CBS Sports Network, home of Bellator MMA. That deal did not come to fruition because NJPW was only being offered advertisement splits and no money down. CBS Sports also no longer subscribes to Nielsen so TV ratings would not have been tracked.
The report also mentions the differences between NJPW’s deal with Roku, and MLW’s deal with Roku. MLW is listed among several hundred channels on the streaming service, while NJPW will be a featured program on the Roku Channel itself.