Source: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Spike TV’s parent company Viacom is
not planning on commenting on the current situation with
Spike TV apparently not planning to renew iMPACT! Wrestling. A source indicates
that Viacom does not want to ruin what little leverage TNA has. This is because
when WWE returned to the USA Network in 2005, Viacom publicly announced that it
was not renewing its deal for WWE Monday Night RAW. This hurt WWE’s negotiating
power in the midst of a deal and caused a lot of professional bitterness between
the two powers. Viacom wants to avoid a similar incident with TNA.
Two of the factors being discussed are how much Spike
can make off staying in business with TNA and the issue with Vince Russo. The
source says the Russo issue is not as big of a deal as people have made it out
to be, despite Russo officially leaving TNA on Wednesday. The deal comes down to
money at the end of the day. TNA’s iMPACT! Wrestling is still the top rated show
on Spike TV and pulls in more viewers than any other programming on the channel.
However, due to the money Spike TV is putting into iMPACT!, the costs of
licensing, and the lack of significant ad revenue, Spike wants to make up for
its losses by airing cheaper programming with better advertising in those time
slots. A similar situation occurred with WWE Saturday Morning Slam and Main
Event. Both shows drew better numbers than comparable shows on their respective
networks, but both shows were not renewed for the same reasons.
If Spike TV does offer TNA a new deal, the offer TNA
would have to accept is too low for the company to continue operating in its
current form. TNA management promised the roster some type of good news by the
next set of iMPACT! Wrestling tapings in two weeks. So we could know more about
TNA’s future by around that time.