SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Pop TV did not include TNA Impact in their Upfronts listing for the 2016-2017 slate of TV programming.
“The network’s upfront programming line-up includes over 400 hours of original content and a diverse mix of eight original shows,” Pop noted in a press release. TNA did not make the cut.
At the very least, it indicates that Impact is not a priority to pitch to advertisers, especially in light of Pop battling uphill to draw ad revenue for two hours of original Impact programming on Tuesday nights.
In the Upfronts announcement, Pop stressed their original series “Schitt’s Creek” starring Eugene Levy and other programming in the works they are proud to present to advertisers and think could draw in new ad dollars.
At worst, it means Pop is not planning to renew Impact when their deal expires.
Most likely is Pop has soured on Impact, both in terms of not drawing enough revenue and not coming close to the 1.0 million viewership mark that Pop president Brad Schwartz unrealistically predicted before Impact debuted. If ratings were good, Pop would emphasize Impact as their most-watched program.
Further capturing Pop’s lack of attention to Impact, there was no mention of the TNA Hvt. Title match between Drew Galloway and Bobby Lashley on Pop’s website Tuesday night. Also, there was no graphic or general notice that Impact airs on Tuesday night, or even airs on the network. After our report was published, Pop added a small, box-sized graphic for “Impact Wrestling” to their homepage. The website mainly highlights Schitt’s Creek and their “New Kids On The Block” program.
Overall, Impact has struggled to fit in on Pop TV since debuting in January. Pop’s programming skews toward female viewers, whereas Impact reverses to a 65/35 split of males 18-49 vs. females 18-49. Impact has not drawn consistently enough viewers to make up the difference and appeal to Pop’s standard advertisers.
Pop tried to shift the Tuesday night replay to Saturday mornings to create a second audience, but the replay timeslot only lasted four weeks. The first airing drew decent viewership, but the last three airings drew about half of the audience.
Through the first 19 weeks of 2016, Impact averaged 372,000 combined viewers on Tuesday nights, DVR viewership added an average of 43,000 viewers per episode, and the the total audience average was about 415,000 viewers.