WWE, TNA, and all U.S./Canada based graps talk
I made a playlist of the whole James Storm/Bobby Roode feud from 2012 for anybody interested. Both men (and the folks in TNA production) did some really stellar work.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... AB9QSw3A3W
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... AB9QSw3A3W
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Things are in bad shape again. The Saturday replay was canceled after only four weeks, so TNA is down to just one airing at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. In theory that hurts because TNA’s deal with Pop was a revenue sharing deal but there really has been very little revenue from advertising to be shared (a 30 second spot on Impact goes for $335), and less than little for the replay show so it’s not really a financial hit. It’s a minor exposure hit but it’s not like TNA is doing anything with its exposure. The scary part is more just how quickly Pop nixed the show after moving it. The whole idea of the replay show is to hit the West Coast audience in prime time. Destination America last year had multiple replays and ended up canceling them early, but always kept the one replay even after the decision was made to cancel the show. There was a story going about how Pop TV did its upfront presentation for the 2016-17 television season, there was no mention at all of TNA, which is true, but Pop’s upfronts were in late March. So at least dating back to that time they already had no plans to promote TNA as key programming on the station going forward.
The upfronts promoted eight shows for the new season so that would not be their entire prime time lineup. They were sold on the idea that in 2014, TNA was doing 1.3 million viewers weekly on Spike, and that Destination America was in fewer homes than Pop TV. But they are doing lower numbers than at the same point on Destination America, even though DA was in 57 million homes and Pop is in 80 million homes. The four replay shows on Saturday mornings did 80,000, 48,000, 52,000 and 53,000 viewers respectively. What’s notable is that the idea of Saturday morning in theory is to attract younger viewers and a kids audience, but the average viewer was 53 years old, the same as on Tuesday nights. But the difference is, the Tuesday shows do a large percentage of women viewers because the station in prime time has women skewing programming. But on Saturday morning, they were at 90 percent male viewers.
They are starting to promote the 6/12 PPV show headlined by Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Lashley for the title, plus some sort of a Matt vs. Jeff Hardy confrontation and Mike Bennett vs. Ethan Carter III, but it’s going to be tough to do much business for that. But having a show moved and then canceled after a few weeks and Pop pretty much eliminating all promotion of the show is not a good sign.
Movement has been slow regarding any deals to influx new money to the company, nor have any of the key people been signed to the new deals they’ve tried to get them to sign. The good news is they are advertising tapings in Orlando from 6/13 to 6/15, after the 6/12 PPV show, which means they did have the money for at least the deposit for holding the date. The plan is to tape a One Night Only show and an Xplosion show on 6/13, and then tape two shows on 6/14 (the semi-live show and the 6/21 show) and two more on 6/15 (for 6/28 and 7/5). But there’s an interesting note regarding costs from what they have. The original plan was to tape on both 6/16 and 6/17 and be taped through the first week of August. The last two dates being canceled seems to indicate that they don’t have the money for the expenses of those last two shows right now. Since pay for a lot of the talent and everyone in production is by appearance and date, that it saves 33 percent of the non-trans costs by cutting two of the six dates. However, in the long run it would cost more because they now have to schedule a taping in July that they wouldn’t have needed, and it’ll cost the same for production and talent, but they have the added transportation costs of flying people in again that they wouldn’t have had. In other words, by saving money in June, short-term, they are costing themslves more in the long-term.
A few production people are once again behind on pay, including some behind by several months. There was an article in Pro Wrestling Torch on the situation. From what we’ve been able to find out, most of the production people who worked the last tapings were paid in full. The paying of the production people is the responsibility of Aroluxe, which TNA pays for the production work, so it’s kind of a middle-man thing. At the last tapings, it was said that there was some sort of an “error,” and checks for eight people weren’t there at the end of the tapings. Under Aroluxe, the production crew had been paid at the end of the tapings. It wasn’t the months behind stuff like when they were waiting for checks from TNA last year. Don Harris, who heads the crew, told the eight people that they would have their checks at home on 4/26. But as of this past week, nobody had gotten the checks and attempts by those to contact people to find out what’s up had gone nowhere as of last word.
The 5/17 episode was good. The shame of the TNA audience being so limited and the perception being so negative is the TV has been mostly good this year, even though when you watch the show it has a feel of something going nowhere and playing out the string with a lesser talent roster.
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Mike Johnson did a big rant on TNA apparently. There's a vague recap on reddit, but I figured I'd post the bit I found interesting:
There's a lot of ranting about TNA being bad at PR despite Dixie being a PR girl herself and TNA still having a PR guy, plus outrage over no promotion over one of their shitty One Night Only PPVs that they never promote. Goes for a good eighteen minutes overall apparently.Johnson says the morale in TNA is good...because it's almost all young guys, which is what I've guessed in the past. He says that people working TNA look at it as another indy they work that just happens to have TV which can maybe increase their booking fees when they work elsewhere the rest of the month. He mentions that all the old guys who saw the stagnation left, which is why morale is good among those remaining.
Hobbes is truly a genius and hero to us all.
"If I’m Neville or Aries, I definitely give a shit about the take of TJ “Career Trajectory Vanilla Midget” Perkins regarding my burning desire for advancement and steady income." - supersonic
Transcript has been taken from Reddit, all credit there. PWI's Mike Johnson and POPTV's Bradley Schwartz.
=================================================Q: What's the relationship between POP and TNA/iMPACT Wrestling
A: The Passion of the fans is amazing. Our relationship with iMPACT is amazing. The relationship with Dixie Carter is very special, we have a great working relationship. What we have on tuesday night is the best wrestling product going. The characters, the inring action, everything. I'm sucked in, every tuesday I need to watch the show. Its' the 2nd highest rated show on our network. For us, we're excited. We have a longterm deal with iMPACT wrestling.
Q: You guys had the iMPACT replay on tuesday evenings, that was moved to saturday, now that replay is gone. Explain why you guys decided that the replay was going away. A lot of people saw the replay go away and a lot of people thought it's a sign that the deal is faltering.
A: It's a great question, and again, I love the passion out there when people see things like that and jump to conclusions. From a pure programming standpoint - when we started the relationship, iMPACT was new on POP, so we wanted to have as many people as possible be able to find it. So you want to premier it, then repeat it so that more people can get sucked into it and know that it's on and start tuning in. Television has changed the last 2-5 years, with VOD and with delayed viewing and DVR. Repeats across every network don't make as much sense as they used to as people consume content on their own terms. From a marketing standpoint we wanted to suck in people flipping channels. We did that for 3-3.5 months, then we thought ok, people know that it's tuesdays at 9 o'clock, it's going well, people don't need the repeat. They're DVRing it, they're VODing it, it's going well.
From a marketing perspective, we thought.. you know, maybe if we moved the repeat to the weekend, we might find more viewers. There was a little bit of nostalgia for me personally as I used to watch wrestling on saturday mornings. So we did that for about 4-5 weeks, we think it worked a little bit but it wasn't performing as other content in that timeslot would perform - and frankly we didn't market it and hoped people would find it all along. The plan all along was to have one big appointment to tuesday nights show. And if you can't make it at tuesdays at 9, you can DVR it or watch it on VOD.
Q: You mentioned the late viewing. One of the things that happens everyday, after monday night raw airs, after iMPACT airs, the rush you want to find out that Nielsen number and how many people watched. You get the +7 and +3 numbers and all the delayed viewing numbers which we don't get. From a wrestling fans perspective, there's still that fear that for - let's look at these numbers from the monday night wars era. You are privy to the numbers that the average person can't get their hands on. I know you can't give away too much of sensitive information. Talk about the final viewing numbers vs. the initial viewing numbers for iMPACT to give us an idea of what the audience is.
A: It's a, again, I love going on social media and seeing how many people posted the rating for iMPACT. Pointing back to those old days of ratings, overnight numbers just don't matter anymore. You can go look online, about 3 months ago FOX said they'd stop releasing overnight numbers internally because they're meaningless. One of my favourite quotes is from the head of research at CBS. "Overnight Numbers are like calling a baseball game after the 4th inning, there's still a lot more to play and not where the game ends."
I can be absolutely 100% truthful and 100% honest without any spin, every single episode of iMPACT with late viewing and VOD added in has been between 400'000 and 500'000 viewers. The peak, I think the highest one, was 520'000 viewers. That's our peak so far and it's only been 5 Months. And that's after only 7 days. When I look at iMPACT wrestling, i see a show that every single week is around, I would say, 450'000 viewers. And for us, as a small, emerging fast-growing cable network - a weekly original programming doing 450'00 viewers every week is fantastic.
Q: Let's talk a little about the content of the show. How involved has POP been in the week to week guidance what you like on the show, what you don't like. Has there been any sort of edic "hey we want more of this, we want less of that". SpikeTV certainly had that power over iMPACT in the past, and it did change and shape the product. I'm curious how the relationship between POP and iMPACT has grown over the last 5 months, wether POP had any influence on the actual product. Week to week you could make a more interesting product than WWE, not every week of course. How has the relationship grown over the last 5 months and how have you guys felt from a corporate perspective about the product and have you helped push the program in certain directions?
A: Part of my success in general is, I kinda have the philosophy to hire good people and let good people do good team. To that extend, Dixie and her team know wrestling. They know the athletes, they know the stars, they know how to put things together. We had little, i would say no impact on the process they're doing. I love that you said, and I would also say that depending on the week there is no better wrestling product than they (iMPACT) are putting on. The characters and the in-ring action, it's amazing. Some shows are better than the other, but that's true for any sports event or television program. But damn they're doing a fantastic job. Forget about the business side of things, I'm really loving it and I'm sucked in and watch iMPACT every tuesday night. We had no impact creatively at all. We're just really really enjoying the relationship, we're really enjoying the content every week. I wish I could take credit for it, but I got to give credit where credit is due, they're running a great program.
Q: John Gabruick stated to me that iMPACT is looking to bring new partners and investors on board. Is it possible POPTV could be interested in investing in the company, is that something you'd be willing to comment on on the record?
A: It's probably not appropriate for me to get into as a lot of conversations are confidential. Dixie runs here company and it's decisions for her to make. For us as a company that is owned by CBS and LionsGate we're always looking for opportunities to make our business bigger. Wether that's trough finding some strategic acquisitions or some opportunities that are out there, we always have our eyes out for ways to grow our business. Our relationship with iMPACT is very strong. It's not appropriate for me to talk about what their plan is for growing their business.
Q: Final question, somebody is going to listen to it and is going to spin it. I'm going to put you on the spot. September this year, will iMPACT wrestling be on POP?
A: Absolutely. We have a multiyear deal. It will absolutely be on. Upfronts are nothing for the public. Upfronts are very very very much an ad sales driven event. That's where all the televsion networks sell 70-90% of their ad inventory for the year. So the announcements you make in the upfront are really to support what your ad sales team is going out and selling. For iMPACT, because it's such a unique audience with a unique live component to it, there's a sponsorship abilities to that that aren't just in ring sponsorship, show sponsorship and of course advertising. It's really kind of a 360° sell. And we have, us and iMPACT, a 3rd party company that i selling those integrations and sponsorships. So it wasn't something that the POP ad sales team was out there in the market doing. As far as the rest of our network, we sell a women 25-45 demo, an adult 18-49 demo, we really needed a different company with a different client list and a different set of skills to sell 360° sponsorship and integrations as the real way to drive some revenue, additional and incremental revenue. That's why it wasn't in the upfront list as our team wasn't selling it.
From a programming stand point, yes it will be on the air, we're not going to get rid of the 2nd highest rated show on the network.
- iMPACT is the 2nd highest rated show on POPTV
- Every iMPACT episodes does around 400'000-500'000 viewers (Live+3, Live+7, VOD)
- TNA iMPACT will still be on POPTV this fall, they have a long term deal