Credit: Mike Johnson and Pwinsider.com
- TNA President Dixie Carter did a media conference call to discuss the live iMPACT broadcasts this summer:
*Currently, they have 12 weeks where they are live. They hope to expand that at least one week since that week comes in between PPVs, but they are excited with the opportunity and really excited to build on it.
*Carter loves the more reality-based elements they are implementing on the show, feeling it freshens up the product and the characters.
*Brooke Hogan will not be wrestling and is there to help get some attention on the product. Carter was surprised at how much Hogan knew about the business as she literally grew up around some of the biggest names in the industry.
*Carter is very proud of the ten year anniversary and noted that there are some who covered the company from the start who didn't expect it to last ten months. She said it was hard and they've made mistakes but they are proud to be here.
*Carter doesn't believe they need to do 12 PPVs a year and they are currently negotiating contracts on the PPV end.
*At one point last November, there was talk of taking Impact to three hours but she wanted quality over quantity.
*Carter said that wrestling matters to them and it's not a dirty word. They are excited to show the real elements that go into the business for the fans.
*Carter said that the Monday night experiment showed the strength of the WWE's business and what they have built over the last few decades. She respects that and wants to build something greater for TNA.
*There is a possibility of live "specials in 2013 on SpikeTV.
*In regard to content on the Impact broadcasts with the earlier timeslot, Carter said they take the racier elements seriously to present them in the right way. Carter said that too much blood, language and sexually offensive material means nothing. Everything has to have meaning. In their attempts to make it mean as much as possible, some of those elements will come out.
*In regard to fears of producing live TV, Carter said there will always be a mistake and that's the reality of live TV. Live TV gives the audience a desire to need to watch the show live in the face of DVRs. It also prevents spoilers from getting out, which means viewers read it and create their opinion based on what the person wrote and also what's going to be in what segment.
*The move to live TV is happening at "warp speed" as she didn't know they would be live on 5/31 as of the last TV Tapings.
*Carter said they won't stick to any one format and plan to mix it up week to week to get viewers to invest the complete two hours in the live broadcast.
*Dixie Carter will be at the Brooklyn, NY Basebrawl event and actually sent their head of live events a note yesterday that they needed to do a PPV in that stadium.
*Carter said the best thing that they do is provide a great live event experience to the fans.
*Carter was asked about new talents. She said that was one of the reasons they are pulling the curtain back for the Gutcheck and they've found a number of talents like Crimson, Rosita and Jesse Sorensen that way. The Alex Silva decision was legitimately reversed on the fly live and it's an exciting new element on the show and to be put into the system.
*They don't expect any major ratings changes at first. The new timeslot being live will help them get the audience to the new timeslot quicker and establish that. They want to use the interactive element on the show as they've never had that ability to do before on their TV series. Carter said that tomorrow is a big night but it will only get better in the weeks to come.
*They want to let the talents cut loose and not be restricted to shorter two and three minutes segments. Last week, fans got to see a taste of what Hulk Hogan does behind the scenes. Carter gets defensive at the criticism that Hogan takes time from the guys and is just there for the check when he's working with talent and trying to make the show better. Carter said he works for her and she feels honored he is doing so much in those meetings and now everyone will get to see that for themselves on the TV series. Carter said it's going to be a big part of the legacy Hogan leaves in the business for himself and others. She noted that the 15 segment that opened Impact last week was completely unscripted and that allowed them to show their characters on a different level.
*They have not had a conversation about what needs to be done to be financially successful going live every week. They want to have consistency and quality week to week. The criticism that they do too much is something she takes to heart. They have to slow down and now have a six month story arc and bible so they can unfold their stories over time. The timeslot change and the summer season means it will take time for the audience to find them but they will hit their mark over time.
*Carter said Alex Shelley is a great talent and the door is open for him to return.
*On Ric Flair: "I cannot comment at this time."
*Tomorrow on TV, Dixie will introduce Brooke Hogan and will also have another announcement. She said they will have to tune in.
*Carter said they will be doing an Australia tour and it's going to happen. If it was up to her, it would happen sooner than later and they are working and researching dates and venues.
*Carter said that their follow-ups weren't always great in the past, noting the Samoa Joe kidnapping and the Jackie Gayda blackmail tapes. She noted that some would say it was just wrestling and it didn't matter but they needed their attention to detail to be better. Carter said a big goal is to be consistent and have a long story arc and a story bible that will hold them accountable. She said if something has slipped through the cracks lately, it's the exception and not the rule.
*Carter said they are going to present their product in a unique way and a unique journey.... (Continues on next page)