According to Pro Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer, Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff has held formal discussions with Sinclair Broadcasting over the expansion of their budget only to be told there would be financial restrictions throughout 2015.
The meeting included long serving performers the Briscoes and former ROH World Champion Adam Cole who also contributed to ways in which the company could leapfrog TNA as wrestling’s second biggest promotion but their appeals would be rejected. Dave Meltzer said:
“There are a lot of financial issues with [ROH] which basically involve Sinclair not getting more behind it. Joe Koff met with the head guys at Sinclair in December, and pitched them hard to expand the budget in 2015 and 2016, pushing that they could become the No. 2 wrestling company in the country.
The Briscoes and Adam Cole were also brought to the meeting and did pro wrestling promos pitching that they could become the No. 2 promotion in the country with TNA losing steam with its move to Destination America.
Unfortunately, the pitch failed. It also hurt that the second PPV in December only did 8,000 buys, which was said to be under projections but not greatly under projections.Sinclair told them to be more disciplined in spending in 2015 and the feeling is they want ROH for consistent programming but are not looking at investing strongly into it nor taking chances to build it.”
TNA’s departure from Spike TV has increased greater competition between the two companies and statistics show viewership between ROH and TNA are very similar with TNA narrowly ahead due to replays. TNA lost viewership in 42.1 million households as a result of parting ways with Spike TV but their most recent TV taping averaged 525,000, almost double the viewers they had when they debuted on their new parent channel last month.
It could be argued ROH find themselves in the precarious position ECW did in 2000. Despite their dense talent pool it seems Sinclair Broadcasting are reluctant to invest in the product and would rather the company continue to build with limited resources.
It is also understood ROH plan on booking fewer stars from New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) in an attempt to increase revenue. Although the cross over IPPV’s Global Wars and War of the Worlds were a success the financial rewards proved minimal as travel costs of over a dozen NJPW superstars impacted their income.
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