That sound you hear? That's the sound of the world of professional wrestling beginning to shift into some previously-unknown and exciting territory. Last night's edition of AEW Dynamite on TNT saw New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) star and Bullet Club member KENTA making a surprise appearance to take down Jon Moxley in retaliation for Moxley's previous attack in NJPW territory- setting up for their future match and paving the way for some major crossover cooperation between AEW, NJPW, Impact!, and more. On Thursday, NJPW made news again- cementing their presence in the U.S., U.K., and Canada under a new television deal with the Roku Channel.
Kicking off February 11 and airing every Thursday beginning at 5 pm ET, NJPW will present a one-hour weekly series. Episodes will also be available on-demand to Roku's estimated 61.8 million users for free with ads. Im addition, the Roku Channel will host a block of library content featuring key highlights from the 2020 NJPW catalogue (with the library's content expected to expand). "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," said Takami Ohbari, president of NJPW. "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."
Holding events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, London, and New York City, NJPW has grown its footprint in North America over the past several years. "Expanding the breadth and quality of our programming has fueled The Roku Channel to one of the largest and fastest-growing channels on our platform," said Ashley Hovey, director of AVOD growth for Roku. "Sports programming continues to be an important category for our users, and we are very excited to partner with NJPW to put the world of professional wrestling at the fingertips of millions of engaged users on The Roku Channel."