Eric Bischoff has weighed in on whether AEW President Tony Khan’s decision to purchase Ring Of Honor was a good business move or not.
After building up that he had a huge announcement to make, Khan confirmed on the 2nd March edition of AEW Dynamite that he had purchased Ring Of Honor, including the rights to the company’s library which included the earlier career of many of AEW’s top stars.
He has also made it clear that he plans to continue to run shows under the ROH banner, making sure that his purchase wasn’t solely to make sure he had control of the library.
Speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast, former WCW President Eric Bischoff compared the purchase to whether WWE had done the same, and said the deal made far more sense for Tony Khan.
You could argue that because of the power of Peacock and that platform that any additional content might be a good strategic move for them, but it makes more sense for Tony [Khan]. Given his roster, I would agree with that absolutely. If it made sense to anybody, it made sense to Tony Khan.
Bischoff went on to speak about the plans to continue running shows using the ROH name, and how the deal with Sinclair held little value if they decided to sell to Khan.
There’s not a lot of value there. Optimistically, because there’s so much we don’t know, Tony could have an awesome plan in his back pocket that we don’t know about. Now we’ve got this amazing roster of talent and I don’t really have enough television on TBS to take advantage of it, let’s start another promotion on another television network.
So you’re going to produce another television show, assuming it’s exclusive and that talent that’s assigned to that Ring of Honor show, now you can take advantage of a huge roster with some great talent. But you’ve got to pay to produce that show and there is not enough return on the investment on that show if you expect to monetize it on the Sinclair network because guess what, that’s why they sold it.
Eric Bischoff also discussed how the purchase may not be profitable in the short term, but if the end goal is to start their own streaming service then it will be a massive gain for AEW in the future.
In the end of it, all the conversation about was it a good deal for Tony or not, I think it was a good deal. If Tony’s goal ultimately is to build, independent of Turner, is to build his own streaming platform? Absolutely the acquisition of Ring of Honor makes sense. It’s not going to make financial sense in the short term, it’s just not. How many people around in the United States television viewing audience, how many of them even know what Ring of Honor is.
Short term, it is not going to be profitable but three years from now, five years from now, seven, 10 years out… Because streaming platforms are popping up every day. That’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger and guess what? Content becomes more and more valuable over time. Content that probably wasn’t worth anything five years ago conceivably is not worth quite a bit of money because the market has grown and the ability to feed it with content has not.
My opinion, short term that library is going to mean absolutely nothing and in a lot of cases it looks like s–t. You couldn’t do anything with it anyway, it looks like it was built on a phone in a high school gym. But there’s still some great content there.
This positivity towards AEW is in contrast to a lot of what Eric Bischoff has said about the company, including that it isn’t anywhere near the level WCW was in 1996 whilst he was at the helm.
With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.