SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Challenge network in the United Kingdom has announced the discontinuation of airing TNA Impact Wrestling. In a statement issued today, the station touted the “great moments” TNA has brought to the Network such as British Bootcamp and said “they will continue to great things – we wish them all the best.” The full statement follows:
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.
TNA issued this response on their website:
We are proud to have had such a great relationship with Challenge, and appreciate how the channel has brought Impact Wrestling to our avid viewers through the years. In today’s world, spoilers are inevitable. We’ve heard from the fans in the UK and know you do not want to wait 3-5 days to watch the program after it airs in the U.S. Our goal is to broadcast Impact Wrestling in the U.K. as close to the U.S. 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 9 p.m., as well as Xplosion and pay-per-views, and follow us on social media.
Keller’s Analysis: This would be a significant blow to TNA if they don’t have another channel they can air their programming on in the UK. Their annual UK tours, while drawing smaller crowds in subsequent years, was a real annual highpoint for Impact in terms of crowd size, crowd enthusiasm, and roster morale. Whatever revenue the UK TV rights gave to TNA are gone until TNA finds another home. The note about spoilers and the delayed airing of 3-5 days after the U.S. is pretty lame. It’d be one thing if TNA Impact aired live in the U.S., but shows are taped weeks, if not months, ahead of time. If they announce a new partnership soon and it airs closer to the U.S. date, then all will be well. If not, this came across as an attempt to put a positive spin on a bad situation. Whatever revenue the Challenge TV deal was providing TNA, it gets subtracted from an already thin profile of revenue sources keeping TNA Impact viable to any ownership group.
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[Thanks to PWTorch.com reader David Taylor for alerting us to this via email. Send newstips to firstname.lastname@example.org.]