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Ring of Honor purchased by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.
By JASON CLEVETT - SLAM! Wrestling


Ring of Honor has been promising a huge announcement in advance of tonight's Supercard of Honor VI in Chicago Ridge. Today ROH announced that Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. The company, founded in 1971, operates the largest number of local tv stations in the United States with 58 stations in 35 markets.

"We have been waiting for and working for this opportunity for quite some time", he said, "and of our 9 years in business, there has been no better roster of wrestlers than this one to expose the ROH product to the masses. With Sinclair's resources and many avenues of distribution, we believe many new fans around the world will be as captivated as those who have followed Ring of Honor over the years, Cary Silkin, who has owned the company since 2004, said in a press release. "We have established the name Ring of Honor as synonymous with the best in-ring action in the sport. The only thing that will change is that it will now be easier for fans around the world to follow. Our visibility will increase greatly--our production will be upgraded--but the work ethic of our incredible talent roster and our athletic style of wrestling will remain the same. This is what our fans have told us they want, and we will continue to give it to them."

A new ROH TV program will debut in September, with plans to also air the show on the internet for those without Sinclair TV. "

"We are very excited about this acquisition," commented Steve Marks, COO of Sinclair's Television Group. "Television and professional wrestling have a long history of successful partnerships and driving viewership. Unfortunately, the broadcast networks have not protected that relationship, allowing professional wrestling to migrate to cable network distribution. We believe that the powerful promotional platform that our TV stations provide, coupled with our 22% share of the U.S. TV households, will allow ROH to achieve name brand recognition and grow its share of the wrestling market. When you consider the makeup of our station mix and the number of CW, MYTV and FOX affiliates we operate, this is a perfect fit for our viewer demographics." Mr. Marks also noted, "Longer-term, we can envision syndicating ROH wrestling to broadcasters in markets where Sinclair does not have a presence, and even internationally."

Silkin, Syd Eick and Ross Abrams, who are the current office staff, will remain with the company as will Delirious, who will be working with Jim Cornette in booking.

"This is not old-school wrestling, and it's not sports entertainment," said Cornette. "This is wrestling for the 21st century, a new style developed by fresh, young stars that incorporates wrestling, mixed martial arts and high-flying, high-risk action with unique personalities, and it's showcased by a sports-based presentation completely different from any other product out there. In my 30 years in the sport, it's the most exciting live-event wrestling experience I've seen, and I'm thrilled to help bring it to broadcast TV."

A press conference is scheduled prior to their June 24th event in Baltimore.

RELATED LINKS

  • Ring of Honor's website

    Jason Clevett is from Calgary, Alberta.