From the territory days when regional wrestling promotions fostered deals with television stations in individual markets, to the Monday Night Wars of the 1990s when professional wrestling dominated the cable network ratings, wrestling is a part of a longstanding tradition of being a staple among TV airways.
Empire State Wrestling (ESW) looks to continue in these footsteps as it will be broadcasting its professional wrestling content on the Western New York-based WBXZ television station. As the premier independent wrestling promotion in the Buffalo, N.Y. area, ESW action will be aired on WBXZ’s Throwback Television on digital sub-channel 56.4.
“Another big accomplishment of ours at ESW is being able to share a weekly television episode with fans in the Niagara and Erie County area,” said ESW promoter Brett Mednik. “We made goals for ourselves and we keep working hard to bring the best independent wrestling to the area that’s easy and accessible to find by anyone whether you want to attend in person or now be able to watch from the comfort of your own home.”
WBXZ owner and president Steven Ritchie is excited about ESW programming being a part of the network.
“We have wanted a local wrestling show for quite some time,” Ritchie said. “It has been a requested show by many of our viewers. Not only will it be a great way for Empire State Wrestling to showcase their talent, it gives our station the opportunity to reach a whole new audience. It will give over-the-air viewers a chance to get their wrestling fix without the expense of cable. We are looking forward to working with Empire State Wrestling and are hoping for a great relationship.”
ESW’s product will be the fourth locally produced program on WBXZ. These other shows are a science fiction show called “Captain Isotope”, which is a spoof of 1950s sci-fi shows, a hosted movie program called “Mansion of Mystery” and a family oriented show called “Treasures, Travels, and Tales.”
“We have always tried to allow local talent the opportunity to have a platform to share their ideas,” Ritchie said.
ESW’s expansion to over-the-air television broadcasts also complements its existing digital streaming outlets. In 2018, ESW began live streaming its events on Twitch. ESW also made its events available on-demand through numerous wrestling streaming services such as Powerslam.TV, Highspots Wrestling Network, Independent Wrestling On Demand, Title Match Wrestling Network, Smash On Demand and Bar Wrestling. Thus, this TV deal will allow ESW fans to digest some of its content for free over a more traditional medium, while still providing expanded content from its digital library at a charge.
The official debut of ESW on WBXZ will be on February 28, 2019, at 8 p.m. and air every Thursday in this time slot. Encore presentations will air on Fridays at 10 p.m.