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NJPW Reportedly in Talks for New US Broadcast TV Deal, Notes on End of AXS TV Relationship

February 20, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

– During today’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer commented on New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) getting a new US TV deal. According to Meltzer, New Japan is currently in talks for a new US broadcast television deal. Apparently, what hurt NJPW was Anthem Media Group cancelling their programming earlier than expected when there was still one year left on the previous AXS TV contract.

As noted in the past, Impact Wrestling parent company, Anthem Media Group, purchased AXS TV last September. Later in December, AXS TV confirmed that there would no longer be any New Japan events on AXS TV this year. However, it was also reported that the AXS TV and NJPW was not set to expire until January 2021.

Meltzer noted today that New Japan was not expecting for the AXS TV show to get cancelled so early while they were looking for a new TV deal. New Japan officials were aware they would need a new US TV deal after the current contract with AXS expired, “but they weren’t in a rush because it was like, we got a year to find somebody.” However, AXS TV then ended up cancelling NJPW’s programming on AXS, which seems to have caught New Japan by surprise.

Despite the early cancellation of the existing TV deal, New Japan opted not to sue AXS TV for breach of contract. However, the MMA promotion, Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), later did end up suing AXS TV for violating their broadcast contract (via Forbes) earlier this month. AXS TV cut ties and unilaterally cancelled its remaining LFA events last September. LFA was later able to sign a new broadcast deal with UFC Fight Pass for its LFA 78-81 events.

New Japan had started airing on AXS in 2015. Eventually, this would later lead to live NJPW events being held and broadcast in the US on AXS TV starting in 2017. After Anthem acquired AXS TV in September 2019, the network’s NJPW executive producer, Ryan Swift, was let go. Swift was the person who had a major role in bringing the wrestling promotion to the network.

There are no additional details on what network the promotion might end up on. New Japan events are currently streamed live on New Japan World.

article topics :

AXS TV, NJPW, Jeffrey Harris