The Very Latest Backstage Updates On The TNA/SpikeTV Deal And Why iMPACT! Was Dropped

0

Source(s): The Wrestling Observer &
Sescoops

UPDATE x 5: Late Sunday
night, news broke that Spike TV has canceled TNA iMPACT! Wrestling and will not
be renewing their TV deal, which expires in October.

As noted earlier, TNA held a major company meeting on Friday and dropped the
bombshell news on her staff. According to sources close to the situation, she
attempted to spin the situation in her favor, saying that TNA decided to leave
Spike TV because they failed to promote the company effectively. While she might
have a point there, all indications are that Viacom and Spike TV made the
decision to end their relationship with TNA for a variety of factors.

Spike’s decision to not renew TNA’s TV deal was made immediately after news
of Vince Russo working for TNA became public. It was rumored for months that
Russo was working as a consultant for the company, which he and TNA vehemently
denied. Earlier this month, Vince Russo inadvertently CC’d Mike Johnson on an
internal email intended for Taz and Mike Tenay, essentially confirming that he
was in fact working for TNA.


There were many reasons that TNA did not want that knowledge made public.
First, Russo’s reputation speaks for itself and the majority of wrestling fans
would not have a lot of faith in TNA’s decision to rehire one of the most
infamous and controversial writers in the industry. There was also an issue of
TNA’s relationship with The Great Muta and his Japanese Wrestle-1 promotion,
which currently has a partnership with TNA. Muta has very negative feelings
about Vince Russo due to his negative portrayal of Japanese wrestlers over the
years. It’s believed that he was assured Vince Russo was not working for TNA
when he agreed to partner with TNA and host Bound For Glory in Japan later this
year.


However, the main reason TNA did not want Russo’s involvement made public was
because Spike TV executives despise him. There are a number of reasons Spike did
not want anything to do with Russo, many of them related to the type of
programming Russo presented during his previous run with the company.

TNA is obviously in a very bad spot right now. With just two months before
iMPACT! Wrestling is dropped from Spike TV, there is not a lot of time for them
to find another cable network willing to pick them up. Additionally, it’s highly
unlikely they will be able to negotiate a new contract that will earn them
anything close to what they were getting from Spike. TNA’s current International
TV deals are not lucrative enough to keep the company going and the company will
have a very hard time doing live shows in the Untied States without a national
TV clearance.

UPDATE x 4: The Wrestling Observer
notes that a number of media sources are now confirming that Spike TV will not
be renewing iMPACT! Wrestling when the contract expires in just over two
months.


There were reports that Carter positioned to her
staff at a meeting on Friday or Saturday that they were leaving Spike on their
own volition due to a lack of promotion, but others have confirmed Spike had
told Carter they were not going to offer a new deal.


The decision came days after Spike found out that
Vince Russo was still working for TNA.

At this point direct sources at Spike did not respond
to questions from just after the meeting and most within TNA, including talent,
were not aware there was any issue until today when rumors started
flying.

This puts the company in grave position. They have
UTA representing them in an attempt to get a new television deal, but unless
they could get a deal that pays similar to what they were earning on Spike,
financially, the company that had been struggling financially with the Spike
payments, would not be in good shape.

This past Thursday’s episode was the highest audience
for the series since April of this year.

UPDATE x 3: Here is the full
TMZ.com article regarding the split between TNA and SpikeTV:


TNA
Wrestling’s flagship show “Impact Wrestling” could soon be without a home —
Spike TV quietly let the league know it’s not renewing their TV contract … TMZ
has learned.

Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the deal
… tell us Spike execs contacted TNA President Dixie Carter this week to break
the news — and the following day Carter informed members of her inner
circle.

TNA’s current deal with Spike reportedly runs through
October. It’s unclear at this point when “Impact Wrestling” will stop airing on
Spike.


We’re told there’s no bad blood, and Spike gave TNA
such advance notice so it would have time to shop for a new TV deal.

TNA’s show debuted on Spike TV in October 2005 — and
helped the league rise to #2 on the wrestling scene … behind the WWE.

We’ve called TNA and Spike for comment … so far, no
word back.


UPDATE x 2: According to TMZ,
Spike TV “quietly” informed TNA that they would not be renewing their TV
contract. Sources close to the situation state that Spike TV executives that
contacted TNA President Dixie Carter this week to break the news, with Carter
breaking the news to members of her inner circle the next day.

TNA’s contract reportedly runs through October, but
at this time it is not clear if they will run episodes through then or not.
Spike TV reportedly told TNA of the news now to allow them to shop for a new TV
deal.

TNA iMPACT! debuted on Spike TV back in October of
2005.

UPDATE: WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross
sent out the following very interesting tweets on Sunday night:

ORIGINAL: Okay so take this as a
rumor for now, but it’s a pretty big rumor and is getting some traction around
the internet, thus our reporting it to you. Dixie Carter held a meeting at TNA
headquarters in Nashville on Saturday and it concerned the results of a meeting
with Spike TV representatives on Thursday afternoon.

According to sources, multiple people close to both
TNA and Spike TV have told them that Spike doesn’t want to renew its contact
with TNA, which would mean that iMPACT! would be cancelled if they can’t find a
new network very quickly. There’s no word on whether the negotiations are still
trying to work out a last-minute deal or not.

TNA’s deal with Spike is reportedly set to expire in
October. It’s important to note that the show is still under contract to air in
other countries, but whether that would be economically feasible without the
revenue from an American cable network or not is up in the air.

More on this story, obviously, as we learn
more.

Trending Stories