MLW CEO Court Bauer Talks NJPW Declining TV Deals With VICE TV And AXS TV

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MLW owner Court Bauer, who just inked a television deal with VICE TV talked about NJPW having talks and turning down offers from the likes of VICE and AXS TV during Wrestling Inc.’s own Raj Giri.

“New Japan’s had conversations with a lot of people we’ve had conversations with,” Bauer said. “I’ve had conversations with New Japan, because they have a great product. Tom Lawlor has gone over to their New Japan US shows. We’ve had Rocky Romero come over to our shows. There’s been discussions about even expanding what we can do on that. We’ve had conversations with them because they were looking for a home, so they went to us to ask ‘is there a scenario where we can work with you and your partners?’ And I said ‘I’m open to anything, if it works and makes sense on my end and from a business point of view and a strategic point of view I’m always open to something. Let’s have a conversation.’

“The challenge I think and why these deals, like I think they turned down down AXS, they turned down a deal with Vice and I think another party or two. And they’re good deals and I think there’s probably people within New Japan who want to do these deals. But it’s not just New Japan who’s making these decisions. They own that footage with the network in Japan. So who runs on the international, which would include US and anything non Japanese, is the network. And New Japan can kind of connect people with other people to make those other conversations more meaningful to kind of build out a deal. But at the end of the day, the network has to have a lot of say and think complete sign off on it.

“So you can have a great deal that everyone in New Japan loves, but their partner at the network maybe feels the numbers aren’t right or something isn’t right with it. And so they have to be a good partner to their network. So it’s never as easy as it seems or as the headline reads. It’s a lot more nuanced than people think.

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