Even on a day when they actually won something by avoiding Billy Corgan’s attempt at a hostile takeover, the bad news continues to roll in for TNA. Today it was announced that the embattled wrestling company, which is incredibly reliant on their international TV deals as major sources of revenue (their North American contract with Pop TV mostly involves a split of allegedly meager ad revenues and almost no money up front), would be losing their international time slot on Challenge TV in the UK. Here’s their official statement:
“We know that many TNA fans will be disappointed to hear this, but we wanted to let you all know that as of January 2017, Challenge will no longer be the home of TNA in the UK. TNA has been a huge and important part of Challenge’s story over the years and we will treasure some great moments like the British Bootcamp and UK tours. We have been proud to bring UK viewers coverage of TNA and have huge respect for the company and its fans. TNA is packed with great talent and we know they will continue to do great things – we wish them all the best.”
It is believed that low ratings were the reason for Challenge dropping TNA from the channel, which is disconcerting for the usual reasons, as well as the fact that the United Kingdom has actually been a very strong market for TNA, in terms of their TV deal, ratings, and annual live events. Incidentally, it also appears as if that annual live event tour, which was originally scheduled in early 2017, is currently in limbo while TNA’s financial situation is dealt with.
TNA’s response to being dropped by Challenge was posted on Facebook this morning:
“We are proud to have had such a great relationship with Challenge, and appreciate how the channel brought Impact Wrestling to our avid viewers through the years. In today’s world, spoilers are inevitable. We’ve heard from the amazing fans in the UK and know you do not want to wait 3-5 days to watch the program after it airs in the US.
Our goal is to broadcast Impact Wrestling in the UK as close to the US premiere as possible. We look forward to announcing that opportunity soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, we hope you continue to watch Impact Wrestling on Challenge, Sunday nights at 9pm, as well as Xplosion and pay-per-views and follow us on social media. Thank you.”
That’s correct. TNA believes that “spoilers” are the reason why Challenge dropped the show. If that’s actually true, then the company is in more trouble than we thought, since with their current model of taping three or four months of TV at a time (one which Anthem Media seems likely to continue when they take control), spoilers are going to become an inevitable thing in every country that airs Impact, including the US.