Pop TV excludes TNA Impact from 2016-2017 Upfronts listing – what does it mean?

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


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.

6 Comments on Pop TV excludes TNA Impact from 2016-2017 Upfronts listing – what does it mean?

    • Tna is DONE on pop tv. TNa can’t draw viewers anymore. 300,000 viewers each week on pop tv is nothing to brag about if you are supposed to be the “number 2 pro wrestling promotion in the world”.

      It is time for Dixie carter to throw in the towel on her vanity project. tna will never be “competition” to wwe.

  1. As of today, TNA and Aroluxe will not respond to any emails or phone calls about the money owed to production workers for January and March. 100’s of thousands of dollars are still owed, and they recently lost the web graphics team due to non payment also.

    Many of the production workers are making their complaints public and recent spoke to a Nashville based newspaper reporter about the issues.

  2. Brad Schwartz was interviewed yesterday and he said that TNA is the second highest rated show on the network. And that he is happy with TNA and that TNA will remain with POPTV in September.

    He also said the up fronts are for ads sales. He said that the sales team at POP are not yet selling TNA.

    He also said he is happy with TNA’s viewership and that there are more numbers other than the original airing replay that he is happy with for TNA. He said he dropped the Saturday replay because it was not drawing what another show in that slot would do. But the replay was just an experiment to find more viewers for Impact.

    He said that TNA will be on POP and until 20 oothers shows on POPTV do better than TNA, he is not getting rid of the second highest show on the network.

    • It’s p.r. since Pop was too embarrassed to put Impact in their upfront presentation. If TNA is the second-highest-rated show on the network, wouldn’t you boast about it to try to draw in new advertisers? Pop is seeing what Dest. America realized that they can’t sell ad-time on Impact programming, so why bother highlighting Impact in the upfront for advertisers? [JC]

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