TNA Wrestling has had a lot of ups and downs over the last year. They lost their television deal with Spike TV, lost many top stars, and even had issues paying talent and production staff. Now more bad news happens to be on deck for TNA, cue Bad News Barrett. Destination America is set to cancel Impact Wrestling, which would mean TNA would lose two television deals in less than a year’s time.
So what are the details that led to Discovery Communications deciding to pull the plug?
According to The Wrestling Observer, before it was announced that TNA was moving to Wednesday nights, Destination America executives already decided they needed to drop Impact Wrestling. They have already dropped seemingly every TNA show they brought on and only used them for filler when needed.
The idea behind the move was that Destination America couldn’t justify the cost of paying for TNA and not getting enough back in return. The company believes TNA’s ratings are pretty good, but they simply cannot work with what they are bringing in for them. They’re losing money long-term, really. TNA is the highest rated show on the network, but Discovery is known for pulling out early on things if they feel something isn’t working well. Plus they gave TNA a higher end deal than most new shows.
The big thing that led to the drop in many eyes was when regular Destination America advertisers specifically asked to not advertise on Impact. There was hope that, when TNA went live on May 8th, the company would have a much bigger rating. The network even bought an advertisement in USA Today to promote TNA for that night. Despite this, the show had it second lowest numbers since debuting on the network that night. So even going live didn’t help TNA. To be fair, they ran against the NBA Playoffs on the same night.
The decision was meant to be kept under wraps for a while, at least until the network debuted it’s prime-time line up for next season. However, just like with Spike TV….Destination America may decide to pull remaining shows now that the drop has gone public. The original plan was to drop the show in September around the end of the third quarter, and this could still very well be the plan. However, now that the decision has gone public, anything can happen.
TNA President Dixie Carter was made aware of the decision last week, but has yet to comment on the issue as of now. Most of the TNA talent didn’t know either, but now it seems that the internet will have informed them.
Many may ask, how could Destination America drop TNA when TNA signed a multi-year deal with the network? The way it works is simple. A lot of networks have a new show limit, which allows them to cut a show once they reach a certain amount of episodes of they feel the show is not worthy enough to keep. TNA was in desperate times when they signed with Destination America and would have signed anything to get the show going. So it appears that they signed a simple new series deal like any random show would have.
With costs not lining up, advertisers not wanting to work with them, and the loss of so many top performers over the last year…TNA has been in a terrible place. While some would argue TNA is a good show that deserves better, the ratings simply do not show this. Dixie Carter hypes up TNA’s DVR ratings being helpful to their ratings, but this sort of thing cannot be used. Mainly because at the end of the day, advertisers cannot judge DVR potential when they sign on to work with a network to advertise their material.
It is sad to see TNA lose yet another TV deal. It is uncertain if they will get another. If they do not get another American TV deal, one can imagine that the company itself will not last for much longer.
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