Widrospective: The Case For WWE Network Picking Up TNA Impact

Spike TV has canceled TNA Impact, and the last episodes will air on Spike in October 2014. That leaves 2-3 months for TNA to sign a new TV deal to keep the company alive – a TV-less TNA is all but dead as a company.

There are some networks that could pick up TNA. Fox Sports 1 and other smaller Fox networks could have room for TNA. However, many prospective channels that could pick up Impact are under a major corporate umbrella – NBC Universal which has a deal with WWE, and Viacom, which just passed on TNA via Spike TV.

TNA Impact could land with one of the streaming networks such as Netflix or Hulu, but it’s unlikely that the rights fees would be up to par with network or cable TV.

That leaves TNA with an interesting scenario – what if TNA was picked up on the WWE Network?

WWE has a platform that reaches 100,000s of wrestling fans that pay $10/month. WWE could add Impact as a weekday, original programming block to the network. They could let Impact remain autonomous – or get involved with production, such as letting Impact use the NXT facility to tape TV.

For TNA fans, it allows Impact to continue, albeit no longer in a free TV environment.

For WWE, it could provide new buys to the network. If TNA PPVs got between 10-30,000 buys, then that amount of additional buys to the network could make financial sense to add TNA. If 30,000 fans order the WWE network due primarily to TNA Impact, that would be $300,000 per month or $3.6 million per year just for TNA on its own.

It’s unlikely to happen, but stranger things have gone down in wrestling.

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