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NJPW Close to English-Language TV Deal


Johnny Rodz
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Per Herb:

New Japan Pro Wrestling may be returning to English-language television.

Dave Meltzer has confirmed that NJPW is very close to an English-language television deal. The deal is close enough that an announcement could come at any time.

NJPW previously had a television deal with AXS TV, which aired NJPW content from 2014 to 2019. The relationship ended after AXS TV was purchased by Anthem Sports and Entertainment, which owns Impact Wrestling. The promotion later confirmed at the end of 2019 that no more shows were scheduled to broadcast on US television in 2020. Women of Wrestling, another promotion that aired on AXS prior to Anthem’s purchase, was cancelled back in June.

Shortly before NJPW’s association with AXS ended, the promotion launched a new subsidiary called NJPW of America. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, NJPW has continued to run shows in the US with a weekly program called Strong that airs on New Japan World.

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On commentary during WK night 1, Chris Charlton teased this TV announcement and then said something like "I love the color purple".

I'm not sure what he meant by that, but if I had to guess, I'd say it's a hint that the show will be directed by Steven Spielberg.

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9 hours ago, MapRef41N93W said:

On commentary during WK night 1, Chris Charlton teased this TV announcement and then said something like "I love the color purple".

I'm not sure what he meant by that, but if I had to guess, I'd say it's a hint that the show will be directed by Steven Spielberg.

Maybe it's PBS, the former home of Barney & Friends. I mean if the NFL can make playoff games kid friendly, why not grown men dropping each other on their heads?

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HBO Max and direct to Roku TV were my first thoughts. Roku seems the easiest and likeliest because they'll put whatever on there. HBO Max would be the best option because it gives HBO Max another reason to subscribe to it even though it's not going to move that many numbers, it's at least a prestigious streaming option so it wouldn't look as low rent as Roku, and I'd imagine they'll get more money from HBO Max.

I have both though, so if it's either then I'm good to go.

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On 1/5/2021 at 9:39 AM, Craig H said:

HBO Max and direct to Roku TV were my first thoughts. Roku seems the easiest and likeliest because they'll put whatever on there. HBO Max would be the best option because it gives HBO Max another reason to subscribe to it even though it's not going to move that many numbers, it's at least a prestigious streaming option so it wouldn't look as low rent as Roku, and I'd imagine they'll get more money from HBO Max.

I have both though, so if it's either then I'm good to go.

My problem with HBO Max is that NJPW already has its own subscription streaming service. And it's one they aren't taking full advantage of. What they should be doing is overhauling NJPW World and making it a better international streaming destination. 

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On 1/11/2021 at 6:45 AM, TheVileOne said:

My problem with HBO Max is that NJPW already has its own subscription streaming service. And it's one they aren't taking full advantage of. What they should be doing is overhauling NJPW World and making it a better international streaming destination. 

Unfortunately, I want to watch NJPW on my TV and not the computer.

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9 minutes ago, Archibald said:

So can someone who knows about these things explain if it is good, bad or doesn't matter?

Well it is better than Axxess in that anyone can watch the Roku Channel via a web browser

https://therokuchannel.roku.com/

More specifically this is the live TV link - https://therokuchannel.roku.com/browse/w.J1mzrama89hRP9GM2D52iGe2LZZL6lHK5xJdY7PRUbJ42N6416hpR8PeN/see-all

 

Quote

Roku separates the ordinary streaming programming from the live TV programming on the web, so you'll want to bookmark both pages so you can browse them later.

I guess the question is - will the replay (if you can't watch live) be archived for free or as "premium content"

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Per WON

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On Thursday, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced a TV deal for a weekly one hour television show on The Roku Channel in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.

"New Japan Pro Wrestling" will debut on the channel weekly starting next Thursday, February 11th at 5 PM Eastern and the show will be available on demand each week after the initial airing. The show will air weekly footage from major arenas in Japan.

The channel will also have on demand footage of New Japan historical content, including some of the major matches of 2020. 

The Roku Channel is available in nearly 62 million U.S. homes, available via their app, Roku TVs and Roku streaming devices. 

The deal, completed in December, brings New Japan back to weekly TV. They were canceled at the end of 2019 by AXS TV following a series of successful years as part of the fallout of the sale of the station by Mark Cuban to Anthem Entertainment, the parent company of Impact Wrestling.

"Expanding the breadth and quality of our programming has fueled The Roku Channel to one of the largest and fastest growing channels on our platform," said Ashley Hovey, Director of AVOD Growth, Roku. "Sports programming continues to be an important category for our users, and we are very excited to partner with NJPW to put the world of professional wrestling at the fingertips of millions of engaged users on The Roku Channel."

"Our fans in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom are among our most loyal, and they have been very clear that they want NJPW's content made available to them," said Takami Ohbari, President of NJPW. "NJPW is unlike any other pro-wrestling in the world. It is the most athletic, sports-oriented pro-wrestling on the planet, and we are excited to bring our athletes and matches to these markets in such a major way. Thank you to The Roku Channel, and we look forward to a successful partnership that brings NJPW to millions of new fans around the world."

The news comes after a talent trading partnership between New Japan and AEW opened up nearly 25 months after their first attempt to work together in January 2019. The first example of that partnership will be on February 10th with a Kenny Omega & KENTA vs. Jon Moxley & Lance Archer lights out match on AEW Dynamite with another example coming on February 26th with Moxley vs. KENTA for NJPW's IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship airing on New Japan Strong.

 

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Also, maybe this means us Roku owners will finally get a NJPW World app. It would be kinda weird to have the Roku channel have an NJPW show and still not have the app on Roku devices. Although, from what I understand of the app on Fire devices, it sucked.

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Yes hopefully this will lead to a Roku NJPW World app it would make watching more convenient for me anyway, I usually watch on my laptop but most of my watching is on the weekend and I don't always want to get on a computer after a week of work. I'll be interested in seeing how the show is set up and presented.

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