Tony Khan ran his first Ring of Honor event this past week since purchasing the company, Supercard of Honor.
The show saw the crowning of the first ROH World Champion under Khan’s ownership and showcased several All Elite Wrestlers throughout the card including FTR, The Young Bucks, Brian Cage, and the debuting Samoa Joe.
During an AdFreeShows exclusive episode of Strictly Business with Eric Bischoff, the WWE Hall of Famer spoke about Tony Khan’s purchase of Ring of Honor and why the company right now holds no value as a recognizable brand.
“Ring of Honor is not a recognizable brand,” Bischoff said. “Within the internet wrestling community, yeah, it’s really well known. Within the business-to-business media community, not at all. The fact that Sinclair owned it and basically used it to fill air time at 2 AM in the morning to small markets around the country and do make goods for low CPM advertisers. Because you have a lot of advertisers, they don’t care where the show airs, they don’t care so much about demos it’s just how many eyeballs can you deliver.
“Those advertisers are paying K-Mart blue light specials, they’re not really attractive advertisers but they are important to a network, particularly a syndicated network like Sinclair is. The media value of Ring of Honor at this point, unless Tony has a plan and a strategy to really elevate it, I can’t imagine that there’s any interest right now. That could change in the future, Tony is a guy with a lot of resources. Maybe it will become something of value but at this moment, it’s a six-pack of Mountain Dew and a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and you’re good to go. That’s what it’s worth.”
While previously talking about ROH’s purchase, Bischoff revealed why it was a good idea for Tony Khan to purchase the company, stating if anyone were to buy it, he’s the perfect person given his roster and the library ROH has.
Continuing to talk about AEW purchasing ROH, Eric Bischoff revealed whether or not he believes there is a place in the packed wrestling market for Ring of Honor. He does not believe the company can be successful if AEW does not continue to grow because another wrestling show would dilute the product.
“I don’t know, so much of that depends on what Tony Khan does with it,” Bischoff said. “I think a lot of that has to do with how much more successful AEW can become. Let’s talk about that for a little bit, it’s kind of flatlined at around a million [viewers]. Unless that brand grows substantially, it will be hard for them to elevate Ring of Honor very far.
“Now if Tony is successful as I’m sure he wants to be with AEW and he finally gets to that point where they’re drawing 1.5, 1.7, 1.8 million viewers with a strong 18-49 demo[graphic] because I know that’s all anybody wants to talk about. But if they could be actually competitive from a ratings point of view consistently with Monday Night RAW, if Dynamite can be truly competitive, then I think AEW will certainly be able to create media rights value in Ring of Honor if creatively they find the magic and make it all work together without diluting everything.
“That’s always the tricky part about everything, it’s always great, more shows, more wrestling shows, another TV deal, until you have to start fulfilling those obligations and you find yourself diluting yourself and really adversarially impacting your core product when you grow too fast without a sufficient foundation of growth underneath you. That will be the risky part of all of that.
“Tony is a very smart guy, he’s got all the resources in the world, I’m sure he’ll find a way, I don’t know what it is, I don’t know how long it’ll take but I hope he finds a way, let’s put it that way. But as of right now, I wouldn’t want my job to depend on my ability to go out and try to sell Ring of Honor to another cable outlet.
Although Eric Bischoff does not believe that ROH holds much value at this moment, the WWE Hall of Famer did reveal where he would make Ring of Honor wrestling viewable to the audience.
“I’m advocating OTT [otherwise known as Over-the-Top media or streaming service], that’s where I would put my resources,” Bischoff said. “Trying to build Ring of Honor into another television rights opportunity I think is a mistake.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit AdFreeShows.com with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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