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TNA TV: Impact ratings take big drop

impact wrestlingThis week’s TNA Impact on SpikeTV took a nosedive in the numbers, with viewership down 23 percent and the Nielsen rating dipping below 1.0.

The episode drew 1.093 million viewers, down from 1.421 million last week. The rating for this week’s show was 0.95, down from last week’s 1.18.

Some analyses of the drop look at the content on this week’s show to try to figure out why the show lost so many viewers in so short a time. That may be missing the greater point. Even if fans had tuned in, saw that the show wasn’t going to be to their liking, they would count as viewers. The bigger issue is that fewer people tuned in in the first place.

That’s an indictment on the recent emphasis on the Dixie Carter-MVP storyline that has been taking up way, way too much of the airtime on Spike with little reason for anybody to want to care.

The idea that MVP, a $500-$750 a night draw on the indy circuit before he signed with TNA, is attempting a hostile takeover of the privately-owned TNA makes absolutely no sense from any angle. Magnus is not believable as a legitimate TNA World Champ. Gunner, who has been booked on local Virginia indy cards for as low as $300 in the past year, does not come across as a legit #1 contender.

The losses of Hulk Hogan, now in WWE, Sting, on his way to WWE, AJ Styles, now in Ring of Honor, and Jeff Jarrett, reportedly working to launch his own TV wrestling promotion, are clearly hurting the product, and creative isn’t picking up the slack.

With WWE looking for a new broadcast partner now that its relationship with NBCUniversal appears to be coming to an end, Viacom, the corporate parent of SpikeTV, might very well be interested in trying to lure WWE back to improve upon these anemic numbers offered by TNA.

If TNA loses its SpikeTV connection, it’s hard to imagine the company finding another basic-cable dance partner, in which case the company could be on its last legs.

How much more can the company hemorrhage in money on house shows that can’t even pay for building rental and on TV shows that draw fewer viewers than reruns of “Impractical Jokers”?

– Column by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press