By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
MLW issued the following press release on Friday to announce its new television deal with Reelz.
(Albuquerque, NM) Friday, January 20, 2023 — REELZ today announced the fastest growing wrestling league in the world Major League Wrestling (MLW) premieres on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. The new weekly primetime series MLW Underground Wrestling is a new era of wrestling for a new generation of fans, featuring an electrifying mix of world class fighters including MLW World Champion Alex Hammerstone, “The Certified G” Real1, Women’s Featherweight Champion Taya Valkyrie, John Hennigan, Jacob Fatu, “The World’s Greatest Wonder” Microman and more.
Journey into the underground beginning Tuesday, February 7 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT with the premiere of “Titan vs. Titan” featuring Hammerstone vs. ex-NFL player EJ Nduka in a Last Man Standing World Championship Match and also stars Real1, the Bomaye Fight Club and Mance Warner. Immediately following at 11pm ET/ 8pm PT it’s the REELZ premiere of the classic “MLW Battle RIOT IV.”
“Major League Wrestling is for a new generation of fans and we’re thrilled to bring our viewers a ringside view with exciting nights at the fights,” said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. “With the strong response from our viewers to several REELZ originals celebrating the extraordinary lives and careers of professional wrestlers we’re stepping into the ring to bring them new Major League Wrestling events every week.”
“Wrestling has never been hotter and MLW Underground Wrestling will deliver a weekly adrenaline rush when we join the REELZ roster February 7,” said MLW CEO Court Bauer. “The extraordinary growth and success of REELZ with its line-up of must-see programming is a perfect fit for MLW.”
MLW wrestlers have distinct backgrounds with rich cultural connections making their journeys relatable and authentic to viewers. MLW also features some of next generation of some of the most iconic wrestling families in the sport including the Samoan Dynasty, the British Bulldogs and more. New episodes of MLW Underground Wrestling air Tuesdays at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT followed at 11pm ET/ 8pm PT with REELZ premieres of classic episodes of the most memorable and action packed matches in MLW history.
Powell’s POV: Congratulations to Court Bauer and the MLW team, as it’s been a long road to securing a better television deal. The big question now is whether MLW can get some advertising love during Reelz’s big hit On Patrol: Live.
#REELZ is now the home home of #MajorLeagueWrestling, the fastest growing league in the world of #ProfessionalWrestling! Tune in to #MLWUndergourd every Tuesday night at 10E|7P starting #Tuesday February 7! #MLW #ProWrestling pic.twitter.com/EBNP2wfZyO
— REELZ (@ReelzChannel) January 20, 2023
What was their old deal?
Reelz isn’t on the two major cable systems in my area and isn’t on YouTube TV or Hulu Live TV. Looks like they’re literally only on DirecTV/DISH and Sling or Philo.
MLW’s current deals are with beIN Sports, which requires a subscription, and on the free Pro Wrestling TV app. I can’t imagine MLW was receiving much in return from those deals. I don’t know what they are getting from Reelz at this point either, but it’s a big upgrade in terms of potential visibility, as Reelz touts being available in 40 million homes. And given the popularity of On Patrol, they seem to be on the rise, so perhaps they’ll end up on other platforms. From their bio…
REELZ is available in more than 40 million homes on DIRECTV (238), DISH Network (299), Verizon FiOS TV (692HD), AT&T U-verse (799/1799HD) and Xfinity, Spectrum, Optimum, Mediacom, Philo, Freecast, DIRECTV Stream, Dish Sling and many other cable systems and major streaming services nationwide. Find REELZ in your area by visiting http://www.reelz.com. If REELZ is not available, or not in HD, on your cable, telco or streaming provider, we encourage viewers to call them and ask for it. Owned by Hubbard Media Group, REELZ is headquartered in Albuquerque, NM with national ad sales based in New York City with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles.
REELZ library programing is available in more than 30 million additional homes and growing via major streaming platforms such as Amazon Channels, Fire TV, Roku, The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Tubi, Samsung Smart TV+, Vizio, Crackle, Xumo, Redbox, FreeVee and Local Now.
There episodes of Fusion get 35k-45k views on YouTube, which is free, and available to pretty much everyone on the planet. If they only get that many views to their programming, planetwide, I’m not sure they’ll even register with 40 million US-only homes