KELLER & MARTIN FLAGSHIP (11/28)
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Last week Impact announced it would be upgrading its cable partner from Pursuit Channel to AXS, and today it announced the two-hour weekly show will move into Smackdown’s former timeslot, Tuesday nights at 8 ET.
Impact has been on a path toward fewer homes and more obscure cable channels since upgrading from Fox Sports regional network to Spike TV after WWE Raw left Spike TV in 2005. In the 14 years since, it’s moved to Destination America, then Pop TV, and most recently Pursuit (formerly Outdoor Network) and Twitch earlier this year, all downgrades in terms of available households in the U.S. A clearance on AXS, known for its live concert series and live New Japan programs and women’s wrestling series, gives Impact a larger potential audience and more synergy with other programming.
Impact moving into Smackdown’s timeslot means starting next month there will be first-run programming Monday (Raw), Tuesday (Impact), Wednesday (NXT and AEW), and Friday (Smackdown) during the week. Thursdays are dominated by the NFL for about 17 weeks a year, so pro wrestling companies are steering clear of competing with those games head-to-head.
Impact has had a good year in terms of critical acclaim for improved booking, a compelling mix of featured male and female wrestlers, and praise-worthy pay-per-view events. Impact’s top stars include Brian Cage, Rob Van Dam, Tessa Blanchard, Rhino, Moose, Sami Callihan, Michael Elgin, Rich Swann, TJP, Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary, Tenille Dashwood, and Eddie Edwards.
Impact derives its revenue from pay-per-view, international TV rights fees or ad revenue sharing from clearances in Europe, India, and Africa, along with their Impact-Plus streaming subscription service. Added exposure through AXS TV can help sell more PPVs and Impact Plus subscriptions, which can help sustain their business and retain or attract more wrestlers in a crowded seller’s market for top talent.
The first of Impact’s new TV shows on AXS will air Tuesday night, Oct. 29, but AXS will air Tuesday night specials starting Oct. 1, the first night Smackdown vacates Tuesday nights.
- Oct. 1 – Homecoming PPV Replay
- Oct. 8 – Rebellion PPV Replay
- Oct. 15 – Slammivesary XVII
- Oct. 22 – Launch Special Overviewing Impact’s Current Roster
Below is the full press release issued by Impact Wrestling today.
AXS TV LAUNCHES IMPACT WRESTLING TUESDAY NIGHTS AT 8pE/5pP WITH DEBUT SPECIALS STARTING OCTOBER 1 & ‘IMPACT!’ PREMIERE ON OCTOBER 29
Flagship Weekly Wrestling Series ‘IMPACT!’ Brings Two Action-Packed Hours of High-Octane Original Programming to the Network Every Tuesday Night
Los Angeles (Sept. 24, 2019) – AXS TV, the exclusive U.S. television broadcast home for IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s pre-eminent professional wrestling organizations, today announced IMPACT Wrestling will launch on the network on Tuesday, Oct.1 at 8pE/5pP.
Leading up to the debut of its flagship weekly show IMPACT! on October 29, AXS TV will showcase IMPACT Wrestling’s critically acclaimed pay-per-view events of 2019, broadcasting each of Homecoming (October 1), Rebellion (October 8) and Slammiversary XVII (October 15) in their entirety and hosted by Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore and the voice of IMPACT Wrestling Josh Mathews. Finally, on October 22, THIS IS IMPACT! will serve as a launchpad for the promotion’s AXS TV debut, featuring a preview of the weekly series, profiles on IMPACT Wrestling’s biggest stars and exclusive non-televised matches from BOUND FOR GLORY, IMPACT Wrestling’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year to be held on Sunday, October 20 in Chicago .
Distinguished by its world-class roster of renowned athletes, led by IMPACT World Champion Brian Cage and UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, IMPACT Wrestling will add over 100 hours of original, engaging content to AXS TV each year, ushering a new era of programming following the network’s acquisition by global media company Anthem Sports & Entertainment this month. The IMPACT roster also features legends Rob Van Dam and Rhino, third-generation superstar Tessa Blanchard, high-flying X-Division stars such as Rich Swann and TJP, featured stars such as former Atlanta Falcons lineman Moose, Sami Callihan, Eddie Edwards and Michael Elgin, plus the trail-blazing Knockouts women’s division headlined by Champion Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary, Tenille Dashwood and others.
“The incredible athleticism of our roster, dynamic characters and accomplished story-telling deliver must-see weekly programming that has captured the attention of professional wrestling fans around the world,” said Ed Nordholm, Chief Corporate Officer of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and president of IMPACT Wrestling. “We are excited to bring the best professional wrestling on television to AXS TV, long recognized as a premier destination for world class sports entertainment programming”
Since its inception in 2002 IMPACT! has been a leading destination for professional wrestling fans, televised globally in 120 countries, while growing its popularity and reach on YouTube, Twitch, Pluto and social media platforms.
For more information about IMPACT! on AXS TV or for tickets to BOUND FOR GLORY Oct. 20 at the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park, Illinois visit https://impactwrestling.com.
About IMPACT Wrestling
IMPACT Wrestling is one of the world’s largest wrestling entertainment properties, creating more than 300 hours of original content annually across television and other digital platforms. IMPACT Wrestling specializes in creating premium content, events, products, merchandise and music, as well as the management and promotion of professional wrestlers. Its highly successful flagship, IMPACT!, is broadcast globally, including AXS TV and Twitch in the United States, Fight Network and GameTV in Canada, Sony ESPN in India, 5STAR and Fight Network in the United Kingdom, SuperSport in Africa, and MVStv in Mexico. IMPACT Wrestling is a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc.
For more information visit www.impactwrestling.com.
About AXS TV
Launched in 2012 by visionary entrepreneur Mark Cuban in conjunction with AEG, AXS TV has established itself as the premier destination for music and entertainment programming, and is the newest addition to the Anthem Sports & Entertainment portfolio. The network delivers an eclectic programming roster that includes original series, live concerts, music documentaries, live wrestling and mixed martial arts. AXS TV is currently available nationally in the United States and parts of Canada and the Caribbean. For a list of providers, visit www.axs.tv/subscribe. For more information, visit www.axs.tv.