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June 6, 2015

ROH COO Talks About Ring Of Honor Deal With Destination America Being Kept Secret, Advertisers

Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff spoke with Against The Mat, talking about Ring of Honor's new television deal with Destination America. You can read the highlights below.

On ROH's deal with Destination America:

"It actually began sometime late last year, I can't remember if it was November or December… it was right around the time that Spike decided not to carry Impact Wrestling anymore, and they ended up moving over to Destination America, and around that time, once that was announced, because we're [Sinclair Broadcasting] a broadcasting company, and we're in the television business, we have a lot of contacts at other broadcasting companies, and one of my colleagues high in the organization made a contact over at Discovery, which owns Destination America, which turned into a lunch with the Destination America people, from there we conversed about the possibility of making Destination America the destination for wrestling in America. That's really how it all started."

On how the deal was kept under wraps:

"Well, good question, good point. I think I have a little bit of experience in this, in that, when we [Sinclair] bought Ring of Honor that also was not leaked until it was announced when we bought it. I'm from a business background and we are a big company that does lots of deals and transactions and we just know how to keep things to a minimum, and keep people to a minimum as far as their involvement and I think we're pretty good at it and I think this bears that out."

On wrestling's reputation with advertisers:

"I think the answer is really apparent. So I'm just going to put it into terms for our community, the wrestling world, which we're a part of. It's a really small world. It's big to us because we're living in it, and we're thriving in it, and we're enjoying in it, and we can have this conversation and talk about the business so openly and get excited about it, and talk about the excitement of what we do in the ring, but if you were at a party, and you tried to engage somebody in this conversation, they would probably, maybe walk away and go get a drink and probably talk to somebody else. We have a niche audience. We have a very loyal audience. I love our Ring of Honor fans. They come to the events, they buy the t-shirts, they buy the DVD's, they come up to me and thank me, they say hello, they take a picture with me, etcetera, etcetera. But they're comfortable, it's our environment, they're safe in there. There's going to be an advertiser, and there's some advertisers that seek out that male 18-24, 18-34 audience… but it's professional wrestling. We're not going to change some of that stigma that exists with being in professional wrestling or what the sport might represent. So, I just don't think it's high on the list of advertisers' wants or needs. But the advertisers' who do, and have the foresight to go after this demographic nail 18-24, and I don't want to be too technical, but this is a gold mine for an advertiser. So if there's any advertiser's listening, or of a national scope, who I know that there are because there fans everywhere… this is a chance to reach these audiences…"

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