In news that is sure to excite wrestling fans in the UK, US, and Canada, New Japan Pro-Wrestling has announced it will begin airing a weekly one-hour TV show in those countries on The Roku Channel starting on February 11th.
The show will be called simply “New Japan Pro-Wrestling” and is set to feature matches and events that have not aired on TV outside of Japan before. It will air every Thursday night at 17:00 from February 11th on Roku’s streaming channel. The deal will also see Roku hosting library content which will initially include NJPW highlights from 2020, although the company does not rule out adding more historical content over time.
The President of NJPW, Takami Ohbari said the company is excited to bring its athletes and matches to millions of new fans.
“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. 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.”
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) February 4, 2021
The news comes soon after WWE announced they would also be moving their content in the US to a streaming channel, with the WWE Network set to become exclusive to NBCUniversal’s Peacock channel in the country.
NJPW first teased the new TV deal during Wrestle Kingdom 15 in January, when they released a short video saying an announcement would be coming soon.
Currently, NJPW is available to view with English commentary in the UK, US, and Canada on their streaming service NJPW World. In the US, the promotion previously had a deal with AXS TV, where they aired regular programming from 2014-2019 but decided to go their separate ways at the start of 2020.