TNA heading to Destination America in 2015
November 19, 2014
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
Well, it is official now. TNA has a new home for their weekly television series “Impact Wrestling.” Starting in January 2015, Impact will air on Discovery Channel’s Destination America network. That is the great news. The bad news is that Destination America is available in just roughly 60 million homes (compared to 98 million for Spike TV).
I, like many people it seems, could get the channel with an upgrade in cable/satellite subscription but the prices for such an upgrade in many places are unreal. For me it would literally double the price and I would be doing it solely for that one channel and I already pay $80 a month which is insane. The obvious hope here for TNA and Destination America is that they can continue to build up Destination America’s brand, as it is still a relatively new network and become much more accessible to audiences.
There are obvious downsides here being that TNA’s viewership numbers are going to take a hit without question. If their numbers with Destination America can remain relatively consistent like they were for Spike, it could lead to Destination America using it as leverage to cable/satellite providers.
One thing that both TNA and Destination America have hinted at is that they will be working with TNA on more than just Impact. TNA has badly needed a second weekly TV show and this could be their opportunity to do so, maybe even centering it around the X-Division, as well as possibly doing live “free PPV” specials on Sunday nights much like WCW did with “Clash of the Champions.” Dixie Carter has also hinted at a behind the scenes type of show that could be coming, maybe in the same light as HBO’s “24/7” series leading up to a major event.
The possibilities are endless for TNA heading into a deal with a young network that is eager to brand TNA and themselves. That is a plus but I don’t know that it outweighs the negative of not having near as many eyeballs on the product – at least not yet. Regardless both TNA and Destination America have an opportunity here and TNA’s opportunity is to start fresh and move forward. The last few months of TV for TNA has felt kind of like a fresh start, a new start for the promotion. The stain of Vince Russo has been almost completely washed away and now could be a time for TNA to step up and continue the progress it has made over the last few months by putting on a competent, entertaining wrestling product. Destination America very well, and in my opinion IS, TNA’s last chance here. If things go badly with this television deal it will be the end of TNA Wrestling. If things go well and both TNA and the network grow, then it could be one of the catalysts that next “boom” period in wrestling. We will just have to wait, watch (hopefully we will get to watch) and see.