It has been denied time and time again, but it is now official. Destination America, who broadcasts Impact Wrestling in the United States, has decided to not continue with the program after nearly a year of ratings lower than they hoped. It was thought that when the network brought in Ring of Honor, the writing was on the wall for TNA. On top of this, they told advertisers that the program was going to be cancelled.
Destination America is officially cancelling the show effective in January of next year, which will allow TNA to look for another home in America and hopefully end some long-standing programs they have happening by the end of the year.
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated wrote the following in regards to TNA losing yet another TNA deal, the same article where Dixie Carter delivered the news.
"[Spike TV] cut ties with TNA last December, leaving TNA without a television network in the United States. History repeated itself a year later, as TNA's current home for TV–Destination America–will no longer air Impact in 2016."
Dixie Carter then added, "The biggest challenge for us is building a brand in the U.S. That's where we need to grow. We're contracted to Destination America through the end of the year, and we are in discussions going on for 2016."
While Carter speaks of discussions, they are not with Destination America. The network is not going to keep TNA even in a lesser deal. It is thought that they might be done with ROH at the end of the year as well, but this is uncertain as of now.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that Destination America very well could opt-out of their deal with TNA at some point this month. It does seem that they did just that but decided to give them to the end of the year.
The Wrestling Observer, as well as other outlets, were able to get the Destination America memo that they sent out to advertisers some months ago.
"Destination America is not renewing TNA Wrestling next year. While the ratings were strong, the audience was not large enough to justify the program investment. We plan to honor the current contract and continue to air original episodes of TNA Wrestling on Friday nights through the end of the third quarter 2015. When the up-front rate card is released, the Friday night anthology title will now be called 'American Tales,' which will be a combination of Paranormal and Americana programming. I hope this is good news given all of the advertisers that included TNA on their DNA list."
The DNA list is a list meaning "do not advertise," which is never a good thing to be on as a program on any network. It is when a sponsor decides to not buy time during a particular program, even if they buy time across the entire network. Many of the advertisers saw the viewers of pro-wrestling as low income, despite Destination America being a channel that is high on all cable packages at the moment. They saw a down market there, which meant that they didn't want to be seen advertising there. This despite TNA bringing in the highest ratings over any program on the network.
While TNA Wrestling very well could be picked up by another American television network, it is unlikely they will as of now. They have lost two television deals in consecutive years. This does not look good in the eyes of other networks who would even consider TNA. While WWE has a proven track record that they could take with them to any network, TNA does not.
Due to this, TNA is going to have trouble finding a place to go. This also means that some TNA stars who were expected to be gone in early 2016 might be gone by the end of the year as TNA will no longer be on Destination America come 2016.
[IMG Credits: fightnetwork.com, fansided.com]