Thursday, 03 July 2014 21:13
As noted eariler, Thursday's New Japan show at Korakuen Hall, which had been earmarked and listed as an iPPV, does not appear to be airing as neither the New Japan English or Japanese language channel on the UStream site is listing the show.
This is part of a much larger situation that may be end of iPPVs from Japan.
Ring of Honor, which did its last three iPPVs through Ustream, apparently had learned that Ustream was considering this move, but nobody knew until today how quickly the call was being made.
Ustream has not commented on this up to this point.
If this is the end, this would be a bad time. Some of New Japan's biggest shows of the year are coming in a few weeks during the G-1 Climax tournament and the huge Seibu Dome show. No announcement has been made. On the last New Japan show, they were promoting iPPVs, including tonight, and the first night of G-1, but the New Japan events page only lists last week's show and nothing going forward.
This would also affect Dragon Gate, which still has the 7/20 show listed on its UStream channel, as well as Ring of Honor, which was planning on working with UStream regularly but has no future dates scheduled.
Court Bauer of ROH reported the news earlier today. It's a huge disappointment for the promotion after so many problems, as Ustream has been close to flawless, far more than even the WWE network, with Japanese and ROH shows.
ROH will likely try another company, but Ustream's service was the gold standard in the industry.
At least for the time being, if Ustream doesn't continue this service, this could be the end of New Japan and Dragon Gate live shows on the international market.
Apparently part of the problem from their end was customer service. While if one ordered and watched, problems were minimal, but there were many examples of people who would watch part of the show, log off, come back to watch, and have issues. Many would be forced to order a second time, and then would go to Ustream for refunds for ordering the same show twice. The customer service in that regard wasn't always the best as they never had people on hand to answer the frequent questions.