Full disclosure: I am a Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBG) shareholder.
Much has been said about how Sinclair values or doesn’t value Ring of Honor. The thinking goes as follows: If they valued ROH, wouldn’t Sinclair: Spend more on tv production? Spend more to retain talent? Spend more on building an office staff? … and on and on.
I am not here to defend how or why SBG operates the way that they do but it is important to understand what type of organization they are. They are an extremely fiscally conservative organization. It is not that they don’t spend big money on any ROH production, they don’t spend it on any in-house production.
SBG has been buying up local television stations and consolidating staff. Some “local” reporting is done from other states now. American Sports Network announcing is often done remotely in a studio and not at the game.
ROH is actually front and center when Sinclair touts itself. Ring of Honor appear as one of their brands in press releases. They include Ring of Honor images on their corporate page. Ring of Honor is easily found on their website.
Ring of Honor is valuable to SBG because it can be managed so cheaply. It is cheap to produce content and easy to monetize it.
In addition to owning (and acquiring) several local stations across the country, SBG owns several digital-sub channels. What appears on nearly every one of these stations? ROH. From the over the air stations late on a Saturday night to the middle of the night to Comet TV to ‘classic roh’ on American Sports Network. If they could figure out a way to justify putting it on The Tennis Channel, they would probably do it!
Sinclair has been investing in a technology called ATSC 3.0. They hope this will be a new broadcast standard. If this becomes widely used, a network can increase digital-sub channels from the current 3-4 to 20. Do you know what SBG could do with that? The first over the air ‘network’: Ring of Honor. It would be delivered in the way that SBG always does- with a focus on the bottom line. The channel would likely be turn-key: no live specials and no fancy editing. The channel would be wall to wall wrestling content on the cheap and who could argue with that?
Lavie Margolin is a Career Coach and author of Mastering the Job Interview. He has been a professional wrestling fan since 1988 and has attended ROH shows regularly since 2004.
All comments here are speculative and for entertainment purposes only and no misrepresentation of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Ring of Honor or related brands is intended.