Thursday, April 17, 2014

ROH Is Coming to Traditional, Live Pay-Per-View

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Via ROH's Site

Ring of Honor, a company beleaguered by its issues broadcasting live events via Internet pay-per-view, has announced it will return to the traditional PPV model for Best in the World 2014. The event will be held at the Nashville Fairgrounds on Sunday, June 22, and the event will begin live at 8 PM. The press release said nothing as to availability on iPPV. ROH recently announced a return to that medium via Ustream. ROH did traditional PPV starting in 2008, but the events were always taped at an earlier date before release to public.

This announcement's timing is curious. Just as WWE, the market leader in pro wrestling pay-per-view, started its mass exodus from the platform, ROH decided to dive back in. However, I see some logic behind the move. The company's history with iPPV has been atrocious, causing it to recoil away from doing live broadcasts of any kind. The company has not only fallen behind WWE and TNA in terms of live distribution, but other promotions like Dragon Gate USA, Chikara, and even localized companies like Squared Circle Wrestling in Upstate New York have leaned on iPPV to varying degrees of success. Will the move to traditional PPV be a fallback or supplement, or will ROH look to move away from the Internet altogether? I hope that the former is the case, because if ROH has to abandon Internet broadcast, then a company known for innovation will end up lagging behind the pack.