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TNA’s third U.S. TV home in three years will be Pop TV, starting in January 2016.
Impact’s timeslot will be Tuesday nights at 9:00 p.m. EST. The first airing is Tuesday, January 5 with a two-hour premiere.
TNA placed a countdown clock on their website after Wednesday night’s Impact episode that expired at 11:00 a.m. EST to announce the news.
“Pop’s enthusiasm for our partnership and the network’s fan focus is a perfect fit for our company,” said TNA President Dixie Carter in a press release. “Wresting has always been at the forefront of pop culture with the most passionate, loyal fan base. We’re thrilled to be in business with Pop and to bring Impact Wrestling to more than 80 million homes.”
Pop was one of the players in the mix with WGN to potentially be a new TV partner once TNA’s deal with Destination America was set to expire.
Pop got into the wrestling business with Paragon Pro earlier this year when PPW delivered a one-hour show early Saturday mornings. On Wednesday night, Paragon tweeted: “Watch here for an exciting announcement tomorrow!” Paragon then announced right after TNA’s announcement that they are leaving Pop to air their weekly show on multiple networks.
As for TNA, the new partnership with Pop brings a new marketing campaign. On Dest. America, it was about presenting “Americana” in the form of wrestling. Now, it’s “celebrating the excitement of being a fan,” playing up the idea of TNA’s loyal fanbase.
TNA’s audience has followed Impact from Spike TV to Dest. America and now to Pop. Included have been timeslots every day of the week except for Sunday. Impact started on Saturday, moved to Thursday, experimented on Monday, went back to Thursday, shifted to Friday, relocated to Wednesday, and now will be on Tuesday.
The new marketing pitch is also part of Pop TV’s re-branding after moving away from the TV Guide Network. According to Deadline.com’s industry report on the announcement, Pop was “re-branded at the beginning of the year as a destination for fans.”
Pop reaches 74.6 million homes, more than 56.4 million homes for Dest. America. However, Pop is not available on some major outlets, such as AT&T U-verse, or is only available in standard definition.
TNA is working through the preliminary stages of the deal, including whether shows will be made available online.