For the past few weeks, there has actually been some positive buzz surrounding Impact Wrestling. The shows have been universally praised from the TV tapings in New York City with some great matches and more focused direction. That may be the fallout of a certain writer no longer involved in the process after accidentally outing himself as a secret member of their creative team.
Not only are fans expressing their enjoyment of the show but — get this — ratings are up too. Here a press release from TNA touting their ratings:
IMPACT WRESTLING CONTINUES POSITIVE SUMMER RATINGS TREND
AUGUST 7 SHOW HIGHEST RATED SINCE FEBURARY
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2014) – The Aug. 7 episode of IMPACT WRESTLING, TNA’s flagship program airing Thursday nights at 9/8c on Spike TV, drew 1.6 million viewers (P2+, +3 Rating), the largest audience since mid-February of this year. The episode was also up against six nationally or regionally televised NFL pre-season games, the first of the NFL season.
Historically, IMPACT WRESTLING ratings are highest during Q1, however in Q3 2014, IMPACT WRESTLING has experienced a steady increase in total viewership and key demos that are exceeding ratings from Q1 2014, and rivaling Q1 ratings from previous years. To date, Q3 2014 ratings have attracted more viewers in the highly sought after Men 18-34 demo since Q1 2012, and the highest ratings for P2+, P 18-49 and Men 18-49 since Q1 2013.
That’s good news for the company but the big question remains: what is going on with the TV deal? It’s been just over two weeks since the report that Spike TV was canceling Impact Wrestling, leaving them scurrying for a new TV contract someplace else before their deal with Spike expires in September. However, there is still some belief that is not the case with TNA and Spike still discussing a new deal, maybe one where the wrestling promotion would have to take a pay cut in their weekly fee.
Regardless, the clock is ticking and time is not in favor of TNA Wrestling. If you look on the events page of their website, the last date on their calendar is a house show in Fayetteville, NC on September 7. They also have the dates for their UK Tour next January but we’ll see if they make it that far.
So far TNA president Dixie Carter is, at least publicly, keeping a positive attitude on the matter.
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) July 28, 2014
She also had this to say on a recent edition of Ring Rust Radio:
Every two years I go through this. This is just the first public negotiation I’ve ever had. I think social media has really changed this kind of thing. I’m used to every two years negotiating with Spike and negotiating with other networks. This time is absolutely not any different. We’re still talking with them, but there are other people, thank God, that are interested in our product. I want to grow this brand; I want to grow it domestically. I want us to be able to start having the kind of success domestically that we’re having internationally. I’m not going to stop and none of us are going to stop until we get there. I’m real excited to see and I think we’ll know sooner than later what’s going to happen.
The talent is also saying the right things like Jeff Hardy who had this to say in a recent interview I did with him here on BetweenTheRopes.com:
I just hear that negotiations are ongoing. People have their doubts but me, I’m the type of guy that, you know, I have faith in TNA wherever we end up. I have faith that, you know, a year from now we’re still going to be on Spike. I don’t read Twitter timelines. I don’t follow the social network at all. So, I don’t know. I feel good about being in TNA and as far as I’m concerned I’m going to be on Spike this time next year.
So for now, all we really know is that the company has taped enough edition of Impact Wrestling to last into September and their touring schedule has nothing past September 7. Beyond that, it’s wait and see as to whether or not TNA can land another TV deal and where that might be. Without that, there doesn’t look to be much of a future for the company.
The clock is ticking. Tick tock.