SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Impact Wrestling announced today that it will be leaving Pop TV as of the first week of 2019 and be moving to a channel most of you haven’t heard of and may not have access to called “Pursuit.” The show will remain two hours, but moves to Friday nights at 10 ET, That timeslot means it will immediately follow Smackdown on Fox next fall if it remains in that timeslot into October 2019.
Impact touted in a press release on its website today that Pursuit is “the most widely distributed outdoor network and one of the fastest growing channels in the country.” The hope would be that having Impact will help the network grow by being picked up by more carriers.
Impact’s parent company Anthem is a “significant minority owner” of Pursuit. Anthem will likely lean on other distribution models, including it’s Fight Network and online availability to help those without access to Pursuit on cable to still see the shows, but that hasn’t been announced yet.
“Pursuit Channel is a natural fit for Impact,” said Ed Nordholm, president of Impact Wrestling. “It has a passionate viewership base that correlates strongly with our core audience, and is one of the few broadcast destinations that is expanding its footprint, enjoying a 15 percent increase in broadcast distribution this year alone. With Impact Wrestling coming off a tremendous year of audience growth globally and positive fan engagement, we look forward to leveraging our respective resources to bring fans more of the wrestling content they want to see: tougher, edgier action.”
Pursuit is available in 40-plus million homes, a significant drop from the 70-plus million homes Pop TV is available in. It is available to DirecTV subscribers on channel 604 (on all tiers, including the cheapest), Dish TV subscribers on channel 393, plus Prism, Fios, Cox, AT&T, and Up, among others. It is not available on Xfinity/Comcast, Charter, Frontier, or Time-Warner. You can check availability HERE.
“Pursuit Channel is pleased to welcome Impact Wrestling into our Friday night lineup of popular shows,” said Rusty Faulk, CEO and founder of Pursuit Channel. “Impact Wrestling programming is perfect for our audience, which enjoys adventurous content to feed their wild side. We look forward to a long partnership and providing our fans with new and exciting world-class content while expanding Impact Wrestling’s audience to a new base.”
In its press release, Impact Wrestling touts their roster this way: “Showcasing top professional wrestling stars such as IMPACT World Champion Johnny Impact, who starred in the most recent season of the hit CBS show Survivor, plus Brian Cage, Eli Drake, Moose, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, Pentagon Jr., Fenix, Rich Swann, the high-flying X-Division, and the Knockouts, including Champion Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary, Allie, and Su Yung, Impact Wrestling has been a leading destination for professional wrestling fans, televised globally in 120 countries since its inception in 2002, while growing its popularity and reach on YouTube, Twitch, Pluto, and social media platforms.”