TNA President Dixie Carter tweeted that on May 30th, TNA’s Impact Wrestling will return to its original 9-11pm EST time slot. This news begs a few questions to be answered, but I can confirm that now I won’t have to rush home from the gym (Self High Five!!).
THE 9PM TIME SLOT IS STRONG
If you’re one to follow ratings, WWE’s Monday Night Raw usually has its highest ratings during its second hour (9pm-10pm EST). People with a 9-5 job still get home late and would rather settle first. Unless you are a hardcore wrestling fan, you are not rushing to make it home to catch Raw live at 8pm EST on the dot. The 9 o’ clock hour works because people will be home, settled, filled from a good dinner and can pick up where the show left off.
In the case of TNA, one would imagine that more fans will be able to tune in and catch the show right at the beginning, sticking with the show until the end. DVR’s won’t have to be set and ratings can be recorded in real time, instead of company heads crunching numbers for the DVR views. TNA Wrestling fans are familiar with the 9-11pm EST time slot, so it should be an easy transition. It is also a more adult oriented show so a later time slot should be ideal of the demographic of males/ females 18-35 who are interested in the product that are not fans yet.
WILL IMPACT STILL BE LIVE?
Back when TNA Wrestling switched to Monday nights, they were live one week and then taped the next with an 8pm-10pm EST time slot. When TNA returned to Thursday nights, they also reverted back to their 9pm-11pm EST time slot with all shows taped again (if I am incorrect on this, please don’t hesitate to advise me). So, does this mean the end of live shows?
Hyping Impact Wrestling as “live and on the road”, it would be 10 steps backwards for TNA to go strictly tape again. If they will remain live one week and taped another, TNA should strongly consider going live on Thursday and taping the next week’s show Friday instead of holding tapings the same Thursday night. They can tape material before going live, but that would make things very confusing for the fans. If they continue to tape after the live show, they will continually have worn out fans and I don’t want to hear another James Storm reaction like the one on last week’s show. He deserves better than that.
If you follow us here on TNANews.com, I bring up again our own Alex Barie (Twitter: @AlexAssumptions) going to a recent Impact Wrestling live broadcast in Pennsylvania (see My Impact Wrestling Experience – A Roller Coaster Ride). The “live” broadcast was not live at all as Alex tweeted comments pertaining to on going matches before the 8pm EST start time! The broadcast was on tape delay. So, did something happen that company officials decided on a 9-11pm change that would ultimately switch TNA to tape? Was it really just the low rating last week that caused the move to be decided on but the company still following the same taping format? Is this a sign of trouble for the relationship between TNA and Spike TV as network and network show?
There has been too much shuffling done by TNA and Spike TV in regards to how best to market the product on the network. Perhaps TNA should truly consider, somewhere down the road, looking for a new network? A network that will take the product seriously and build with it?
We can all speculate and play the “he said, she said, I think, you think” game until Slammiversary, but the fact is that TNA needs to find stability somehow.
What do you think of TNA’s return to 9pm EST? Is there something behind the scenes that caused this change? What’s the strategy here? Sound off and give us your thoughts in the comments.
Until next time: “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”
Follow me on twitter: @RealRicSantos