On Thursday, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced a TV deal for a weekly one hour television show on The Roku Channel in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
"New Japan Pro Wrestling" will debut on the channel weekly starting next Thursday, February 11th at 5 PM Eastern and the show will be available on demand each week after the initial airing. The show will air weekly footage from major arenas in Japan.
The channel will also have on demand footage of New Japan historical content, including some of the major matches of 2020.
The Roku Channel is available in nearly 62 million U.S. homes, available via their app, Roku TVs and Roku streaming devices.
The deal, completed in December, brings New Japan back to weekly TV. They were canceled at the end of 2019 by AXS TV following a series of successful years as part of the fallout of the sale of the station by Mark Cuban to Anthem Entertainment, the parent company of Impact Wrestling.
"Expanding the breadth and quality of our programming has fueled The Roku Channel to one of the largest and fastest growing channels on our platform," said Ashley Hovey, Director of AVOD Growth, Roku. "Sports programming continues to be an important category for our users, and we are very excited to partner with NJPW to put the world of professional wrestling at the fingertips of millions of engaged users on The Roku Channel."
"Our fans in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom are among our most loyal, and they have been very clear that they want NJPW's content made available to them," said Takami Ohbari, President of NJPW. "NJPW is unlike any other pro-wrestling in the world. It is the most athletic, sports-oriented pro-wrestling on the planet, and we are excited to bring our athletes and matches to these markets in such a major way. Thank you to The Roku Channel, and we look forward to a successful partnership that brings NJPW to millions of new fans around the world."
The news comes after a talent trading partnership between New Japan and AEW opened up nearly 25 months after their first attempt to work together in January 2019. The first example of that partnership will be on February 10th with a Kenny Omega & KENTA vs. Jon Moxley & Lance Archer lights out match on AEW Dynamite with another example coming on February 26th with Moxley vs. KENTA for NJPW's IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship airing on New Japan Strong.