When TNA announced its new U.S. TV home with Pop TV on Thursday, there was speculation within the wrestling industry that TNA was not going to have the same kind of deal as Spike TV and Destination America.
The speculation was that Impact would have to pay to be on Pop TV, similar to the deal that Paragon Pro Wrestling had.
However, former TMZ producer Ryan Satin reports that sources close to the negotiations say TNA signed a “regular TV deal” that is “not paid programming.”
The key difference is Paragon Pro bought an early Saturday morning timeslot and TNA landed a Tuesday night prime-time TV timeslot.
Also, buying airtime would have eliminated TNA’s U.S. TV revenue stream, hurting the company’s financial position. It’s unknown at this time what the terms of the deal are compared to Spike and Dest. America, but it does keep the revenue stream going.
However, taking a chunk out of the TV deal is Hollywood agency UTA, which represented TNA in negotiations, as reported by Deadline.com. UTA also negotiated the previous TV deal with Destination America.
It’s a trade-off for TNA, as UTA has used their expertise to help TNA remain on U.S. television after leaving Spike TV, but their cut is costly.
On the programming side, the deal is reportedly part of Pop TV trying to expand their prime-time TV line-up.
Pop issued a statement to Satin that sounds similar to the optimism one year ago in November 2014 when TNA announced a new TV deal with Destination America.
“Impact Wrestling is a big priority for us and will become an important part of Pop’s primetime line-up. We have a wide-spanning, multi-pronged relationship that we will be monetizing and building together as partners,” said Pop on Thursday.
Back in November 2014, TNA president Dixie Carter said about the new 2015 TV deal with Destination America after leaving Spike TV: “We are very excited about Destination America being the new network for Impact Wrestling and the partnership with Discovery Communications both domestically and across the globe. Their commitment to promote and grow our brand in innovative and compelling ways was instrumental in knowing we had found the right home.”