Report: Backstage News On NJPW's New TV Deal
The promotion held talks with some big networks
New Japan Pro-Wrestling announced yesterday that they had reached an agreement with Roku to bring NJPW content to The Roku Channel in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. A weekly series will air every Thursday at 5 pm from February 11 and will be available on-demand soon after. A library of New Japan content will also be available on the channel and historical matches could be added at a later date.
Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that content dropping on February 11 will be centred around Wrestle Kingdom 14. This will be followed up by a one-hour show on February 18 covering New Year Dash 2020. The weekly series will be similar to New Japan's early programming on AXS TV and will be one-hour shows covering older events.
The deal with Roku is not exclusive and New Japan is free to pursue another TV deal centred around different content if they so desire.
Meltzer also noted that NJPW held talks with ESPN and Vice but they were unable to make a deal because the promotion lacked any proveable data that they could draw viewers in the United States. AXS TV didn't subscribe to Nielsen when NJPW programming was on the channel and New Japan effectively had to try and sell their product to ESPN or VICE without viewership numbers.
CBS Sports Network was also interested in a deal with NJPW but they didn't offer any money for the content, just a split of the advertising revenue.