I can’ beleive I missed the old school WWE matches on the MSG network. I’m pretty pissed about forgetting it was on this week.
Daniels saw them though. Go read that and what I’m gonna say next will make more sense.
The older matches from that era were slower than the current matches, I’ll give you that. But at the same time, today’s live audiences would “boring” the hell out of any of those matches, despite how much the match might make sense to the home audience or anyone with an appreciation for wrestling as a sport and an art form. Today’s audience wants more than those matches gave. A tthe same time, I’m not disputing that matches need more time than they’re given.
Anyway, onto the column….
TNA Gets It
Head over to iTunes or TNA’s video section for a moment. Type in “TNA” to any of the search fields and see what results you get that is officially from TNA. Don’t worry; I’ll be here when you get back. Go.
This is truly a first for a wrestling promotion. Selling their episodes online? You mean if I really love a main event or a promo I can just plunk down my $2 and see it? Or better yet, I don’t have to HAVE cable to stay completely up to date on TNA? Simply awesome.
Why the WWE doesn’t do this with all of their shows is beyond me. They are the WWE I’m more than sure they could have their shows up for sale tomorrow if they wanted to. But why aren’t they? In my estimation there are far more reasons to put individual shows up for sale than not to put shows up for sale.
However, the first horse out of the gate is TNA in this case. Just about everything that they air is available online either for free or for a small fee. iMPACT is available through iTunes, Global iMPACT is available through TNAWrestling.com, clips from the cable shows for free, highlights from house shows and a few more video sections as well. It’s pretty impressive how well they’ve embraced their following on the web.
The web isn’t anything new for TNA though. For the weeks in between the Fox Sports deal and TNA on airing on Spike TV, TNA was a web exclusive company except the PPV shows. You can tell from looking at a lot of time and effort has gone into their online strategy, unlike some other promotion “up north” as they like to say in TNA.
The Big E on the other hand has been slow to move. While Heat might be available, RAW, Smackdown! and ECW are completely unavailable from the WWE online. There are clips available, but even if you wanted to pay money for the full show you couldn’t. The only way to get the full show in the P2P networks or BitTorrent, but in the states the legality of that is murky at best. Velocity was killed off as soon as ECW was brought back and Byte This! is on a “hiatus”. Thank God I can still get my Todd Grisham fix in the archives though. I wouldn’t know what to do without them.
The point here is that there is little reason why these programs shouldn’t be available online. It sucks as a player and store, but even if the shows were online through Google Video it would be better than the state we’re in now.
There is one reason that the shows aren’t online, and I’m pretty sure that this is why the shows aren’t online. Ratings. Who know show many people would abandon watching the shows on television if they had it online. Is that a risk that the WWE is willing to take? What percent of users will stop watching on cable in favor of the internet?
Maybe they should ask TNA. Ha.
TNA on iTunes