One month ago at Wrestle Kingdom 15, New Japan Pro Wrestling revealed that they are returning to English language television.
A deal has been finalized, and NJPW announced today that it has a new television deal with The Roku Channel.
“New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co., Ltd. (NJPW) today announced a partnership with Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) to bring NJPW content to The Roku Channel in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The eponymous New Japan Pro-Wrestling, a one-hour weekly series featuring the athletic action of the world’s preeminent pro-wrestling organization, will air episodes featuring top matches and events that have yet to air on television outside of Japan.
Premiering February 11, episodes of New Japan Pro-Wrestling will air every Thursday beginning at 5 pm on The Roku Channel, and will be available on-demand thereafter. Additionally, The Roku Channel will host a block of library content, featuring key highlights from the 2020 NJPW catalogue, with potential for the introduction of more historical content in the future.
Availability on The Roku Channel makes NJPW the first pro-wrestling company to call an AVOD service home. As pro-wrestling fans increasingly seek out new platforms to watch content, the partnership brings the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s “Promotion of the Year” for the last eight consecutive years to North American and U.K. audiences at a major level for free.”
The premiere date is Feb. 11, with episodes airing Thursdays at 5 PM, and then available afterwards on-demand.
Announcing an hour of matches on a streaming device’s free app might not be the most groundbreaking news in the world, but coming on the heels of KENTA’s arrival in AEW signaling a working relationship between NJPW and AEW, it’s as good a time as any for people in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada to see why so many wrestling fans enjoy the NJPW product.