Why is Ring of Honor not on television in Britain?
I can’t be the only person to have asked themselves this recently. The quality of wrestling on the weekly SBG show is generally of a very high standard and would attract a decent audience if given a little bit of promotion and, crucially, a regular timeslot on a UK channel.
There are dozens of channels on Britain’s cable providers, and several on the Freeview service, that churn out hour after hour of dross every day. Surely one of them could find a spare hour in the week to air an enjoyable wrestling show? Especially when you consider that most of these channels become infomercial havens for a few hours each day.
I think a key reason that ROH is not currently being aired in the UK is the production values on the TV show. While it’s far from abysmal the TV show can, at times, look sloppy and low budget. There are various issues, mostly to do with editing and audio, that arise on a frequent basis that ROH should be dedicated to sorting out but don’t appear to be.
Fixing them would not only improve things for existing viewers but would also give the group a better chance of airing abroad. Considering the fact that they’re owned by a television company it’s very surprising that these issues remain unaddressed.
Back to the point of this article. The group has some great selling points that could help it bag a British deal. First of all they have Nigel McGuinness on commentary. Hearing a Brit calling the action is going to reassure UK channels that ROH features relatable characters and will appeal to UK audiences. The importance of McGuinness should not be underestimated when it comes to ROH getting onto UK TV.
Secondly they are a wrestling show. That’s something neither WWE nor TNA are marketed as (they are, of course, sports entertainment action adventure soap operas). It means that any channel showing ROH action has the option of portraying the programme in a different fashion to the action that airs on Sky Sports and Challenge.
The running time of the show is useful as well. TV channels will generally be looking for shows of half an hour or an hour that can fit comfortably into existing schedules with a minimum of fuss. That’s ROH on SBG. The hour run time would allow the show to be aired at ten or eleven in the evening without clogging up the schedules.
ROH should be actively pursuing a deal with a UK broadcaster. There are plenty to choose from. They may not be getting onto BBC One anytime soon but they’d be a nice fit on one of the secondary channels of Five or Channel Four. Five US would be a natural home with Five’s group, while E4 would feel right if the promotion were to reach a deal with Four. A mid-week, late night slot on a Freeview channel would definitely attract viewers if left alone and allowed to establish itself in the spot.
Ring of Honor should be attempting to get onto a UK channel. Doing so would make tours of Britain a more feasible proposition. As I discussed last week, touring over here would benefit ROH in a number of ways. A TV deal gets them one step closer and brings in more money to boot. What’s keeping them?