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Hulk Hogan Blames Spike TV For Low TNA Buyrates & Ratings

Hulk Hogan blames TNA ratings on Spike TVHulk Hogan may need a ninth back surgery with the amount of crap he has been shoveling on a recent media tour in regards to TNA Wrestling. In a recent appearance Hogan blames a lack of Spike TV “awareness” on low TNA buyrates and ratings.

Hogan has recently made himself available on a media tour. Hogan has appeared in a number of outlets talking a lot of TNA Wrestling. The boys at Live Audio Wrestling asked Hogan about TNA’s inability to increase buyrates and Impact ratings. No, it wasn’t bad booking, lack of creativity, or a stale product that Hogan blames on TNA’s struggling business. Hulk Hogan blamed one of the few friends TNA has left, Spike Television.

“A lot of it has to do with awareness and the fact that we can get to the people. If I go into my hotel room in Chicago there are certain cable networks that are on like USA Network – there is no Spike TV. I mean a lot of it depends on who you can get to and who you can reach there is a lot more than ‘the fans aren’t buying it’ there is more to the equation and that’s a very shallow statement and that’s not a fact. The people that see it are buying it, there just aren’t enough people seeing it. That’s what it is – it’s creating awareness, a marketing plan we have to work with Spike TV and boost them up the ladder. I don’t know how many cable networks there are in the States if it’s 25 or 35 but in the paper it shows you who the top ten are so if we can get Spike up to that number one position the whole equation would change on how many people are buying it and change the equation and someone wouldn’t say ‘no one is buying it’ well the people that are seeing it are buying it so it’s creating that awareness to make people more aware that the product is there and that they can get it and when they walk into a hotel in Brantford that Spike is available.”

Come again? It isn’t the TNA product that is turning fans off, it is not the TNA talent that is turning fans off, it is Spike TV? TNA Impact hovers at around a 1.2 rating which goes up and down by the week, averaging about 1.5 million viewers a week. Those numbers have remained pretty steady since TNA returned Impact Wrestling to Thursday nights.

By comparison, WWE RAW did a 3.18 rating last week which was its lowest in awhile. On the low week, the WWE averaged 4.95 million viewers. Well according to Hogan the difference in numbers comes from the USA Network’s “awareness right? Not so fast Hulkamaniacs.

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Not so fast Hulkamaniacs. As of January 2011, Spike TV was available in 99.5 million homes – or 85.8% of the country. In comparison, USA Network is available in 99.95 million homes – or 86.2% of the country. So the idea that Spike TV’s lack of awareness is to blame at all on declining business is just laughable.

I won’t even bring up the fact that Spike TV airs the Ultimate Fighting Championship, yes the same UFC that recently drew an estimated 750,000 buys for UFC 126.

One other thing on Hogan’s statement about low buyrates. Hogan is the first person in awhile to outright acknowledge lower TNA buy rates. Eric Bischoff has refused to answer the question on his Facebook page when asked. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer recently reported that TNA’s pay per view numbers range from 9,000-20,000 buys per show. Whether you are a TNA fan or not, you can’t argue with the numbers.

In 2007 TNA averaged over 26,000 North American buys per pay per view with lower ratings and a much lower payroll. The 2009 numbers saw a few TNA shows generate over 40,000 buys. The numbers have been declining ever since, starting with 2010. It should also be pointed out that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have been in control of TNA Wrestling creative for over a year with declines and slight improvements from time to time in ratings and buyrates.

Of course I wouldn’t expect Hogan to come on a radio show and take full responsibility for the failures of TNA Wrestling’s product. I also wouldn’t expect someone in the real world for rewarding Hogan and Bischoff’s consistent lack of progress but both have received new contracts and for Bischoff a promotion.

But hey, I am sure a TNA billboard in Stamford, CT will solve everything.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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