Ring of Honor (ROH) has had a toe in the streaming waters for a long time. They were among the first promotions to try sending their biggest events out via the web, often with disastrous results. But they ironed the kinks out, found the right partners -including current owners Sinclair Broadcasting - and now their weekly television series, pay-per-view (PPV) and even big house shows are regularly available via their website and other online outlets.
Now it’s time to follow WWE, New Japan, Impact, Chikara, Progress, etc, etc, into the streaming service/app business.
Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff told Chuck Carroll of the CBS Local Sports that will happen in early 2018:
“We have an app coming out in the first quarter. It really became developmentally the right time to do it. We saw an opportunity. We had a long discussion about it. We looked at the business model and how it impacts our business. We just felt that this was the time to create our own Ring of Honor stream.”
Sounds like the service will be an extension of premium membership to the existing website, which you can currently subscribe to for between $4.99 - $7.99 per month, depending on the length of commitment:
“You’re going to see an enhanced Honor Club. We tested it during the Global Wars Tour of streaming house shows to ringside members. You’re going to see a lot more content available, not only to everybody, but certainly in that Honor Club. [When we tested] streaming for two shows, our response was terrific from a quality standpoint and from an accessibility standpoint.”
Koff’s goal appears to be to move away from traditional PPV, but that won’t happen right out of the gate:
“I would like to migrate personally to stream model, because a lot of people are watching on those devices anyway. And the quality is so good. And you know a lot of those boxes are hooked up to big sets and smart TVs and stuff like that. I’m not ruling out traditional pay-per-views, but the world is going that way.”
ROH has a hot product right now, with their partnership with New Japan and as the main North American home of acts like The Young Bucks and Bullet Club. This seems like a smart play, especially since it’s being done incrementally.
Based on what little their COO revealed here, what do you think of the company’s plan, Cagesiders? Will you be downloading the app and subscribing in 2018?