The official introduction of the new Global Wrestling Network was made public in a press release by Global Force Wrestling and Anthem Sports and Entertainment on Wednesday.
While an official launch date was not yet revealed, the network was described as a “multi-platform digital service” designed to give wrestling fans 24 hour access to the GFW and Impact Wrestling libraries dating back to the start of the company in 2002.
It was also revealed that GFW would be teaming up with the Pluto TV streaming service to launch the Impact Wrestling Channel. The channel would be a 24 hour live feed of content “on the leading free over-the-top (OTT) television service in the U.S.”
GFW also confirmed reports last week that the company has agreed to terms on an extension with Pop TV to continue airing Impact every Thursday night. Pop COO David Mandell was quoted as being “excited” to extend the TV partnership with Anthem. A new distribution deal to begin airing Impact in Germany, Austria and Switzerland starting this week was also announced through the FIGHTING BLACK PASS service.
This press release comes just a few hours after a report by Sports Illustrated described GFW as “hemorrhaging funds” and that Anthem was already seeking a way to sell.
You can check out the full press release below.
Global Force Wrestling Announces Global Broadcast and Digital Expansion Initiatives
Global Force Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., announced today numerous global and digital expansion initiatives, including:
* Plans to launch the Global Wrestling Network, a multi-platform digital service designed to give fans around the world instant 24-hour access to the extensive GFW and IMPACT libraries.
* Plans to launch the IMPACT Wrestling Channel on Pluto TV, a 24-hour live feed of content on the leading free over-the-top (OTT) television service in the U.S.
* Extension with Pop TV in the U.S. to continue airing its flagship weekly show IMPACT on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET.
* Distribution deal with 7Sports, the sport business unit of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, to bring IMPACT back to screens in Germany, Austria and Switzerland via ran FIGHTING.
IMPACT showcases top professional wrestling stars such as GFW Champion Eli Drake, Bobby Lashley, the high-flying X-Division, the lovely and lethal Knockouts, including Sienna, Rosemary and Gail Kim, plus talent from international partner promotions such as Johnny Impact, Naomichi Marufuji and El Hijo del Fantasma. The 3,000+ hour library features household industry names such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode and many more.
“These digital initiatives and broadcast agreements are a significant step forward for the Global Force Wrestling organization as we continue to expand the brand globally, making it available on more platforms and in more countries,” said Ed Nordholm, president of Global Force Wrestling. “Anthem is committed to broadening Global Force Wrestling’s footprint, as we work alongside international broadcast partners, digital platforms and professional wrestling promotions to bring our passionate fans a high-quality product that not only stands out in today’s media landscape, but continues to thrive into the future.”
Additional details about the launch of the Global Wrestling Network and IMPACT Wrestling Channel on Pluto TV will be revealed in the near future. For more information on Pluto TV, visit www.Pluto.tv.
“We are excited to extend our partnership with Anthem and remain the exclusive linear television home of IMPACT in the U.S.,” said David Mandell, COO of Pop. “IMPACT delivers over 100 hours of original programming per year on Pop with some of the best and most passionate fans in television. With our broad distribution across all major cable and satellite providers, as well as almost every new over-the-top bundle, including DirecTV Now, Sony Vue, Fubo TV, Hulu TV and YouTube TV, IMPACT fans have more options than ever to catch their favorite show every week.”
IMPACT will be available as part of the ran FIGHTING BLACK PASS for €3.99 per month at ranFIGHTING.de across Germany, Austria and Switzerland starting on Sept. 8, which includes a simulcast of IMPACT on ran FIGHTING’s 24/7 web channel, plus VOD access to IMPACT episodes and One Night Only specials. The service also gives customers the opportunity to purchase GFW’s premium annual pay-per-view events, including Bound for Glory and Slammiversary.
“The deal with ProSieben marks the second major European broadcaster to license IMPACT, including Spike UK earlier this year,” Nordholm added. “Coupled with the Pop renewal, our digital launches and significant increase in YouTube views, this reflects the increasing excitement and demand for GFW’s content.”
For more information, visit www.impactwrestling.com.