Following months of speculation regarding TNA’s future, both on TV and as a company altogether, we received the press release announcing the new television deal for TNA. The press release announced that this is a multi-year deal and they plan on making Impact their flagship program on Destination America. This can viewed a few different ways and that’s what I’m going to get into in this article. You can even call this, A Sudden Impact Special.
Since the time of the announcement, I’ve been reading comments from various perspectives. Many people are concerned that the channel is not available to them. Others, most I suspect are more WWE fans and TNA haters, have voiced out regarding Destination America only being in 60 million homes nationwide, which is significantly less than Spike’s 90 million household number. Despite these valid points, I’ve also read a lot of optimistic views. For me, I feel this is a good thing for TNA. It’s a multi-year television deal. The value of the deal is unknown as of this writing. The end result is, TNA has a new home and will be broadcasting a weekly show. We, who prefer TNA over WWE, still have our preferred alternative. But before we jump to praising TNA for the move, let’s tackle some of the views, both positive and negative, that I mentioned above.
Destination America is only in 60 million households in the US. This is a fact that can’t be ignored. Their reach has lessened as far as quantity is concerned. The other side of the coin, however, is that Discover Communications offers many platforms that reach a very diverse audience. The Learning Channel (TLC), Animal Planet, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), and Discover Channel are just a few of the affiliates of Discovery Communications. We can only hope that they do right by TNA and promote and push the product. If they don’t, then TNA will be in worse shape than they were on Spike.
Many people don’t know what channel Destination America is. This is another valid point as the way cable television is bundled these days, it might be part of the 2nd tier package. Some companies call it a silver package, or digital plus, or prime package. So, if you just have the most basic of packages, you might not get the station. It is, however, available on just about every major cable provider. I searched on their website and I checked the Southeast, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, and Northeast regions of the US. It’s offered by every major provider including Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, Cox, Century Link, Dish, and DirecTV. But, like I mentioned, it may be on the higher priced package. Plus, some of the comments had mentioned that availability differs even in towns as close as 10 minutes apart. Ultimately, if you cannot find the channel and you’re looking for it, you’ll find it in the same grouping as the National Geographic Channel, History Channel, Animal Planet, etc. Cable companies usually keep stations grouped together like that.
The last of the popular comments I’ve read was that fans have never heard of the channel before. That’s not uncommon because it is very similar to many other channels. The most similar that comes to mind is Tru TV. It’s got some reality TV elements as well as documentary style programs and even the docudrama programs with reenactments. That’s actually how I’ve come across the channel initially as I saw a commercial for haunted schools or haunted vacations or something like that. This is the new station that we fans of TNA can find our favorite weekly wrestling program.
With the variety of views about whether or not this will be a good move for TNA, we should all just take a step back, breath in, and let this new process play out. Will Discovery Communications put their marketing machine behind the product? Will TNA have to make any format changes? How important is the drop off in households? All we can do at this point is, Wait and See.
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