When looking at areas of growth for Ring of Honor, one has to look at its parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBG). Just as an example, this week came the announcement of Sinclair partnering with the Chicago Cubs on a new station, Marquee Sports Network.
One area that Sinclair has been especially aggressive in creating or partnering in developing are digital-tier stations. While some digital-tier stations are creating original programming, like Bounce TV, most are programmed cheaply with re-run programming, with a focus on one particular genre or target market such as "action" or "horror".
As a wrestling fan, you'd be familiar with many of these stations such as Comet TV, Charge!, TBD and Stadium, as some of those networks have aired Ring of Honor. The primary method of finding these stations is through a television antenna. Most are in a low profile position right now, as one would literally need to seek out the station in order to find it.
Currently, the number of digital stations that each network could carry is limited. At the moment, many networks have 3 or 4 digital sub-channels per network. Sinclair has been investing in a technology called ATSC 3.0 and is now planning to launch in 26 markets. Sinclair executives hope this will be a new broadcast standard. If ATSC 3.0 does becomes widely used, a network can increase digital-sub channels from the current 3 or 4 to 20.
With most of its sub-channels, Sinclair has to split the revenue with the content providers (such as MGM). All of that leads us to Ring of Honor.
With the ability to create and program new digital-tier networks, ROH would fit nicely as a stand-alone network. With SBG already owning the rights to about 17 years of pro wrestling content, it could fill up a 24 hour pro wrestling network schedule with limited time spent to prepare the programming for broadcast. One could speculate that most content created after SBG acquired ROH would be ready to be programmed into the station. Pre-SBG ROH would need editing of music rights and possible programming that wouldn't be appropriate for broadcast.
Utilizing a signal that Sinclair owns with content that Sinclair owns is a low risk free endeavor for Sinclair. The channel would likely be turn-key: no live specials and no fancy editing. In programming the channel, SBG could get off to a good start with themed nights for the first week. Imagine a launch week of nights featuring Tommaso Ciampa, Daniel Bryan, Tyler Black, Kevin Steen and AJ Styles?
Full disclosure: Lavie Margolin is a shareholder of Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBG). Follow Lavie on Twitter @Laviemarg