Shocker! Destination America adds Ring of Honor to TV lineup

roh logoBy Chris Graham

Destination America isn’t getting out of the wrestling business. In fact, with today’s news regarding Ring of Honor debuting on Destination America next week, it looks like the network is doubling down, at least for the time being.

“With the electric and intense matches that Ring of Honor provides, Destination America is the network for fans to get an entire evening of jaw-dropping entertainment on Wednesday nights,” said Marc Etkind, general manager of Destination America. “Ring of Honor showcases tenacity, athleticism and passion and it serves as the place where America’s favorite wrestling stars are born.”

This was the shocking news out of the absolute blue today from Destination America and ROH. In a business where secrets are hard to keep and rumors and endless speculation are rampant, no one saw this coming, including talents at TNA, from what we can gather from reading Twitter.

The wrestling world had been expecting a news release from Deetination America for the past several days, basically since reports online that the network is planning to pull TNA programming with the start of the new TV season in September.

We didn’t expect the news from Destination America to have anything to do with Ring of Honor, which will debut next Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern, not coincidentally the night that TNA is moving on Destination America from its original time slot, Friday at 9 p.m., to Wednesday at 9 p.m.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Destination America for the broader distribution of the ROH programming,” commented Joe Koff, chief operating officer at Ring of Honor. “ROH will now reach an additional 57 million households including those in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and other large cities where Ring of Honor is not currently airing.

“ROH has a loyal fan base and is one of the fastest growing major wrestling franchises in the country,” Koff said. “With this great partnership with Destination America, we can continue to expand our footprint and reach while producing entertaining, original content and continuing to provide wrestling fans some of the best wrestling content available.”

Of note is that the news release from Destination America only obliquely references TNA, noting that ROH programming will serve as a lead-in to TNA programming, but otherwise putting the emphasis on the new programming acquisition.

The silence on TNA’s status with the company is deafening considering those online reports from last week. Silence on the deal also marks TNA’s response to the news about Ring of Honor, or rather the lack of response, as of this writing. Chatter on Twitter from TNA talents seems to indicate that no one in the talent base was aware of the ROH news until reports started making their way into social media Wednesday afternoon, suggesting that TNA executives themselves weren’t aware ahead of time, which if that turns out to be true cannot be a good sign as to the status of the relationship between TNA and Destination America.

 

Programming Note: The CGI Raw Impact Wrestling Podcast with Chris Graham and Doug Ward will have more on the Destination America/ROH/TNA situation tonight at 10 p.m.



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