Earlier today, the Sinclair Broadcast Group (parent company of Ring of Honor) had its third quarter earnings and held a stockholders call. During the call, Ring of Honor was asked about from an investment standpoint and if things are working out based on their initial expectations.
Sinclair Broadcast Group President and CEO, Christopher Ripley, noted how quickly they sold out Madison Square Garden for their April 6 co-promotional event with NJPW during WrestleMania weekend.
He said the brand has potential and wants it seen as something similar to WWE, but they are still dialing things in to grow the promotion. Just for clarification, Ripley also mentioned Beyond Tennis, which is a tennis channel the company previously purchased.
"So, look I think saying that we've invested a lot of money is maybe a slight mischaracterization," Ripley said. "Beyond Tennis, we really haven't spent significant dollars on content and Ring of Honor, I think, we bought for a couple hundred thousand dollars. And it's— we think that's an unpolished gem that ultimately should be something in the same light as WWE. We actually sold out Madison Square Garden for an event next year in 11 minutes. So, we know that that that brand has potential. It just— it hasn't, we haven't quite found the right dials to turn yet, but we keep increasing the grass roots support on it and it has just a very, very loyal and avid fan base, which is what you really need to explode a brand."
He continued that the company has been able to keep costs lower for TV and the risk capital spent has been fairly low, considering how big the Sinclair Broadcast Group is overall.
"And on the syndicated side, we have we've been smart about investments there, using our leverage to not only reduce our costs there but also get equity positions in various – or equity like positions in various programs with little-to-no capital," Ripley said. "So that's been a very profitable endeavor for us. ... So, I guess, the overall answer to your question is when I look across what we've done in content, we're in varying stages of development, but we've always had a good return on everything we've done. But I wouldn't say that we've spent all that much risk capital when you consider the scale of the company overall."