The future of TNA Wrestling is up in the air following a report on TMZ.com that Spike TV will not renew TNA “Impact” when its contract expires in October.
Spike executives told TNA President Dixie Carter late last week of their decision that Spike will not pick up the show. Carter had reportedly told her staff last Friday it was her decision to part ways with Spike according to F4WOnline.com but that is not the case with the network making the decision.
Negotiations between the sides had been ongoing throughout the year but were dragging with no talk about any real progress between them. Now, TNA Wrestling has about two months to shop its “Impact Wrestling” show and find a new home. This would seem to be very difficult in the United States with the WWE recently shopping its television rights only to renew with NBC Universal on a deal much less than the wrestling giant anticipated.
TNA made its Spike debut on October 1, 2005 after the network split with the WWE. Originally, the show aired in a late-night, one hour time slot but later expanded to two hours and then moved into its Thursday night primetime slot. Along the way, TNA had convinced Spike to put its show head-to-head with WWE “Raw” on Monday nights which began on March 8, 2010. But after lackluster ratings, the decision was made to move it back to Thursday nights just two months later.
During the nine years, TNA has done steady numbers for Spike averaging mostly around a 1.0 cable rating. But there has been no growth for some time with the company hovering at the same number for years with its questionable booking and multiple changes in direction. Over the past year, TNA has cut down on its talent, parting ways with names such as Hulk Hogan, Sting, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and AJ Styles.
TNA has been tapings its television shows well in advance in New York City at the Manhattan Center. For now, their last set of tapings will take place in August that will run through its current deal with Spike.
Where the company goes from here is a mystery at this point. Without a television deal in the U.S., it puts TNA in a dire situation.