Shore's Blog: Is someone at Sinclair Broadcasting trying to sink ROH?
By Chris Shore
Wednesday, 8:00pm CT
I am not, by nature, a conspiracy theorist. The only conspiracy I've ever really bought into is the Kennedy assassination, and even then I have my doubts as to the number of shooters that day. I have no doubt people get together and plan things that others wouldn't like, and work to keep those plans secret, but to me, a conspiracy is something done for the sole purpose of malicious destruction.
After watching this weekend's iPPV offerings from Ring Of Honor, I am seriously beginning to wonder if someone within Sinclair Broadcasting, the parent company for ROH, is actively trying to sabotage the promotion. The shows had several technical difficulties, but that is only a minor complaint. Technical difficulties are one thing, thumbing your nose at customers is something completely different.
To be sure, I am not suggesting anyone from Sinclair caused the horrible synching issue on Friday night's show that saw the audio stream reach our ears a full 30 seconds before the video stream showed the move that caused the reaction. Nor am I suggesting Sinclair caused a brown out on Saturday afternoon or lied about it. I did make the lying accusation on Saturday as people started reporting on Twitter that there were no power problems they could see in the building, but the brown out story was reported in the local news and by others affected by the issue, so I withdrew the statement and apologized for thinking the worst.
What I am suggesting, no, what I am accusing someone of doing is failing to respond to the problems in a meaningful way. From the moment the iPPV started Friday not, and the problems began, ROH either ignored or downplayed the issues. For a company that survives off the Internet, the web was strangely quiet as events played out on Friday and Saturday.
If you look back at the Twitter feeds on Friday night, you see Jim Cornette re-tweeting his wife one hour after the show started. The de-synch problem had been there from the moment the show went live, but after an hour of garbage stream, all Cornette can do is talk about his own face on a t-shirt. It's not until two hours and thirteen minutes after the show starts that Cornette's Twitter feed addresses the problem. And what does he tweet? A screen capture of his phone showing ROH promising that the replay the next day would be fine, complete with one comment that buried Go Fight Live. A pic, by the way, that is now gone.
The ROH Twitter feed addresses the situation at two hours into the show with this tweet, "We are having bandwidth and signal strength issues and are currently doing everything we can to fix it. Thank you for your patience." Thanks for telling to me to be patient after two hours of listening to bumps happen while guys are just looking at each other on the screen. The next tweet comes nine minutes later, and links to a Facebook page...that wasn't there. On the Go Fight Live Twitter? Absolutely nothing, which is the response from all three outlets on Saturday. No one even bothered to comment about the brown out.
To add to all this, you have Kevin Kelly, the person out in front of your show, saying things like, "It's my understanding we're have a few technical problems, I'm sure they will be worked out shortly," and then moving on like nothing major was happening. Why wasn't he falling all over himself apologizing? Why wasn't Jim Cornette or the ROH twitter person filling timelines with apologies? The response, from all the parties involved, was abysmal.
Then the brown out occurs Saturday, causing those of us who paid to see the show to lose two matches. While this was certainly out of ROH and GFL's hands, there should have still been some response. There wasn't. In fact, when the feed was reestablished, Kevin Kelly never even acknowledged the fact that we had been without the feed for almost a half hour! How does that happen? Does no one at ROH care about customer service?
There is a reason why people say "stuff happens" (or it's cruder cousin phrase). It is because "stuff" does, in fact, happen. We all understand that. How we respond to that stuff is how we are judged. At last year's Victory Road PPV, TNA put on the main event that they had advertised. Everyone who had paid for it got to see it in perfect HD quality. And yet, because TNA felt like they had failed to provide the quality of program their fans expected, they offered six months of free on demand services as a way to make things right.
Today, ROH announced their make right plan: the two matches that were left dropped from Saturday's broadcast are now available for everyone. That's right, those of you who didn't pay for anything this weekend will get to watch the same matches other fans paid $20 to miss on Saturday. It's hard to believe that whoever made that call is that incompetent, that's why I (half) jokingly wonder about a conspiracy. Somebody needs to be fired for the Showdown in the Sun debacle, and fans who paid their hard earned money need to be compensated for their terrible service.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at email@example.com or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
And read my first work of fiction: The Following Contest is a Dark Match available exclusively on ebook for all eReaders, smartphones, tablets, and PCs for only 99 cents.
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