Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeWWE | Pro WrestlingTNA Impact Wrestling Ratings Hitting Dangerous Territory

TNA Impact Wrestling Ratings Hitting Dangerous Territory

Hulk Hogan and Eric BischoffWe have all heard the spin for months after TNA Wrestling sees a dip in the Impact Wrestling rating. Good demos, lots of competition, and oh yes DVRs. However, Impact has dipped to such a low that even the biggest TNA optimists have to be in panic mode.

This past Thursday’s August 18 TNA Impact Wrestling rating is out and it isn’t pretty. According to reports, Impact did a whopping 1.05 rating. The last time an Impact episode dipped that low was back on June 9. The rating continues a trend of dipping ratings that could see TNA fall below a 1.0 within the next six weeks.

This is not good news at all. The pay per view buyrates aren’t much better. According to a report, the last two TNA Wrestling pay per views did around 8,000 buys, specifically Destination X and Hardcore Justice. To put it into even more perspective, Sting vs. Kurt Angle at one time on TNA pay per view did 50,000 buys. That is down 42,000 buys since their last match. Ouch!

A deeper look into the numbers shows that Impact averaged 1.46 million viewers. That is down from last week’s 1.54. The quick slide is almost unprecedented, even for TNA. The slide began on July 20 when TNA averaged a 1.26 rating and has dipped every week to this week’s all new low of 1.05. According to the report in the PWTorch.com, the 2011 Impact average is a 1.19 so this is very bad news.

To put the number into perspective, the final episode of ECW on the SyFy channel did a 1.14 rating with 1,445,000 viewers. Yes, this week’s Impact as well as the last three weeks did either ECW or less numbers. I don’t care what Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, or Dixie Carter tell you, this is bad news.

I went to check out Eric Bischoff’s Twitter account to see exactly how he’d spin these wonderful numbers. I wasn’t surprised to see nothing mentioned about TNA Impact ratings. Instead, he is busy bashing Obama for campaigning on tax payer’s money. If I were Bischoff, I’d probably stay away from tweeting about wasted money. As a matter of a fact you have to go back to July 28 to read anything about TNA on his Twitter page which simply says he is “looking forward to Impact.

[adinserter block=”2″]So he’s the one!

Bischoff was quite vocal back in June when TNA took heat for low Impact ratings. He posted the following on his Facebook.

What the 10%’ers and the dirtsites that feed them don’t want to report: Per Spike TV, Impact Wrestling was the #1 cable show in its time period among M18-49 despite under-delivering its STD average among key demos and TNA increased from its Jail (rpt) lead-in by +129% in M18-49 (.78), with an additional +6% gain in the following quarter hour. TNA peaked in the 10:15p quarter with a .99 in M18-49.

Again, he hasn’t said a word about the latest trend in dropping ratings. For a guy that loves to spin the facts, even he has nothing to spin at the moment.

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TNA defenders love to point to Jersey Shore and the return of the NFL as a reason for the declining ratings. To believe that cow dung excuse you’d have to show me numbers where TNA were doing 2.0s during the NFL offseason and Jersey Shore reruns. The fact of the matter is that there is very little if any crossover between the audiences. Just look back when TNA used Jersey Shore girls on their show. J Woww’s segment on that particular Impact episode was the lowest rated segment of the show! The argument just doesn’t hold any water!

I think it is clear that the antiquated storylines featuring guys like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Sting, and even Kurt Angle who are passed their primes is a big factor here. Combine that with dumb storylines, ridiculous angles, and one of the worst audience tracks on television, and you have every reason not to watch Impact on Thursday nights.

The bottom line here is the current direction of TNA is killing the company. Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, and Vince Russo are completely out of touch with what fans in 2011 want to see as an alternative to the WWE product. The WWE just gave fans a fresh, fun storyline with CM Punk whereas TNA is offering you up Ric Flair vs. Sting in 2011. It just isn’t working and beyond the thousands of wasted dollars on talents who aren’t drawing, you have people in charge who just don’t get pro wrestling in 2011.

[adinserter block=”1″]This could get ugly quick. TNA has a golden opportunity to become a bigger part of the Spike TV brand with the UFC jumping ship to Fox. On the flip side, Spike could look at the numbers and decide they want to completely change their brand altogether, leaving TNA Wrestling in the dust. I am not saying that is going to happen, but it is a possibility. TNA picked a bad time to deliver low Impact ratings and a continued slide in ratings could influence a decision at Spike that won’t be in their favor.

How do you fix it? Easy, get the booking team out of there. Clean house. Bring in someone that has a track record of connecting with pro wrestling audiences or give someone a shot with fresh ideas. At the end of the day you need to look no further than the writing to find the culprit.

Not all is lost. This can be turned around. The company was doing better ratings a month ago. That audience is still out there somewhere. However, if the company decides to wait too long to make a move, they could lose that audience forever, their television, and the company as a whole.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. I think everyone posting one this thread, whatever their opinion, does NOT want TNA to go out of business, or go off the air. What we all want is a good product that is real competition to the WWE, with relevant storylines and talent. TNA has the capability to be that competition, but Eric is right that things need to change. Whether this is a sign of things to come or a fluke, it doesn't change the fact that TNA is consistently putting out stale product despite the depth of their talent. I would say that AJ Styles is probably the best wrestler on TV right now, in my opinion. Yet TNA would rather do Hogan/Sting/Flair, and push people like Jarrett that I've never understood the appeal of.

    They need things to change, if not to survive, then to improve.

    • That's the problem, Sentok. While all of the tools are there in TNA, no one wants to use them correctly. Instead, they want to rely on things that worked 15 years ago and hope that they'll catch lightning in a bottle twice. There are many problems with this, including (but not limited to) those same guys being 15 years older. You've got guys like Sting who were already getting up there in age 15 years ago, as well as guys like Flair who should have already been long retired. For god's sake, the man is nearly 70 years old and still wanting matches. As for Hogan, he's not quite as old as Flair, but somehow is in even worse shape. The guy has an artificial hip and permanent back injuries, so even if he does a match, he's not going to be able to take any bumps. What's the point even the point in this case? Now, TNA's one bright spot is the X-Division, yet despite this supposed renewed push, the X-Division matches rarely ever go more than 5 minutes. And even TNA's most ardent fans seem to be just satisfied with watching the show every week and not buying the PPVs. As Eric pointed out, the last two TNA PPVs did miserable buyrates. While they will never be able to compete with the WWE in terms of PPV sales (at least, not with they way they are going), they have done much bigger numbers in the past. 8,000 buys is miserable for any PPV wrestling event of any kind. Even the old weekly TNA PPVs-which ranged from okay to atrocious-did bigger numbers than this on a regular basis. With the low buyrates, low ratings and meager promotional money and sponsorship, it's absolutely amazing to me that TNA is in the black (at least, we are told they are in the black; whether that's true remains to be seen).

  2. @ Eric, i guess we will have to agree to disagree. I will start taking this article seriously when TNA starts seriously dropping below a 1, and have a good laugh if their numbers go back up in the next few weeks.

    • I just don't see how you can disagree with the trend? Its four weeks. Obviously the current storylines are turning people off. It isn't as if I want TNA fail, I am just pointing directly to the numbers. Not sure how you can't take that seriously.

      • TNA rarely ever goes about a 1.4, and even then they trumpet that like it's a major accomplishment. The average ratings are usually between 1.1 and 1.3, so even if they do drop below a 1, getting back up above a 1 or 1.1 isn't much to write home about. Not even Superstars or NXT did the low ratings that TNA does each week.

        • You're kidding me right Dustin? I can never remember a time that Superstars ever pulled anything above a 1 in its stay on WGN before getting demoted to WWE.com (average around a .6) so try again on that one and get your facts straight. NXT only got numbers in the 1s at the beginning and the end of the first two seasons, and was below a 1 for most of the rest of its stay. I have no clue where you get your numbers from, but try again.

      • The trend is not good, but anyone who has worked in TV knows that small ups and down in the ratings mean nothing whatsoever. Again, its goes back to averages and the average range. Also, the example you used from Sting and Angle that got was Bound for Glory 2007. Again, that is a bad comparison if you consider that BFG is TNA's (supposedly) big show of the year. Comparing an average TNA PPV to it is like comparing the numbers from Wrestlemania to an average WWE PPV. This comparison is neither fair nor accurate since more effort is put into those shows. Just stating points you have to consider and not taking the numbers simply at face value.

        • Ben,

          I am only pointing out the numbers and saying there is a dangerous trend happening. I am not saying that they hit rock bottom or are going out of business by any means. Yes ups and downs happen but TV ratings dont slide THAT hard that fast unless something is wrong. Yeah a 1.2 here and a 1.14 there who cares. 1.28-1.05 in 4 weeks is bad.

          C'mon dude let's be serious. Nobody takes Bound for Glory as a WrestleMania by any means. The reason WrestleMania is so big is because you have people that dont normally buy it who do because it's "hip." I dont know anyone that feels that way about BFG. I dont know how you can try and defend this and why? Again, all I am doing is pointing to a trend. The numbers don't lie, no matter how big of a fan you are. But to try and tell me that BFG is like WrestleMania where TNA gets more buys than on usual PPVs is a huge stretch my friend.

          • Wow Eric, thanks for completing missing my point. I NEVER said BFG was anything like Wrestlemania (try and read next time OK). I said BFG was there biggest show of the year, as Wrestlemania is the biggest show of the year for WWE. Comparing an average PPV to their big show in either company is not a fair comparison (as you compared the BFG 07 match of angle and sting to hardcore justice). I can see this is something that will never be resolved, and everyone just loves to see what they want to see and nothing else. I will remember that next time Raw or Smackdown drops .3 and then start saying how they are doomed.

  3. ::raises hand::

    Pick me! Over here! Thanks, Eric. Uh, yeah, I'm one of those guys that used to DVR and watch Impact (a friend once told me that the ratings people were able to take into account the people who DVR, but I'm not sure), but let's face it, it's Summer, people are busy with traveling, moving, and swearing off television until the fall starts, and I happen to be a combination of some of those things.

    I haven't been able to DVR an ep. in about a month now so I'd be lying if I said I've watched a full Impact since that time. Usually it's on in the background or I can catch up with the "important" stuff via internet clips, but I'm pretty sure I'm part of those dipping numbers, no matter how you slice it.

    And I agree, I have seen enough to say that I try and watch the Sting, Hogan and Flair stuff and I can't get excited. We just came off a great Jarrett vs. Angle series, and now both guys are friends, or at least hated? What's been worse has been the relatively disappointing and confusing Bound For Glory series, which as an indirect result has lessened the impact of the last two PPV's (one quarter of the matches at Hardcore Justice were BFG Series).

    I am sure there are a lot more unforeseen factors at play here, but let's call it part zany booking, part people aren't watching a darn thing in August. Ratings will be back up to standards in Fall, and Jersey Shore, which they replay about 20 times throughout the week, should have no effect.

    PS – Although set your DVR Eric, because the producers were teasing that Thursday's ep of Jersey Shore is the one where Ronnie TKO's The Situation.

  4. We gotta agree to disagree on this one. The rapid drop in ratings is alarming. At the current rate they will be at a 1 or below in a few weeks. Id never write this blog if TNA were at 1.1 or even 1.8. But they are down to 1.05. You may as well call it a 1:).

  5. No, TNA optimists do not have to be in panic mode. If the rating starts to drop below a 1.0 then it is worrying (since there average is between a 1 and a 1.4), and frankly small dips and raises in ratings really do not matter. Same with Raw or Smackdown. If Raw drops below a 3 on a regular basis, then that is worrying. If Smackdown goes below a 1.6, then that is worrying. Until TNA starts dropping below a 1, then people need to stop acting like Chicken Littles and act like the sky is falling. Sorry boss, can't totally agree with your interpretation on this one.

    • Unfortunately, TNA HAS been in that territory before. During their failed attempt at a second "Monday Night War", they were hitting 0.8's and 0.9's each week. It was because of this that they moved back to Thursdays; they could not compete with Monday Night RAW at all. While this may only be a one-week dip, there is a very strong possibility that this trend could continue. TNA has never broken the 2.0 barrier, and has rarely ever gone above a 1.4. While the show may get consistent ratings, it doesn't mean those ratings are good. Those in charge of TNA should be worried, and they should have been worried years ago. Instead of resting on their laurels and coasting through the same ratings, they should have been doing everything they could to improve that. Instead, they are doing the same things they've been doing for years-pushing guys past their primes, giving us wrestlers we don't care about, nonsensical storylines, rehashing of old ideas that they've already used multiple times, etc. The Immortal angle is at least the 3rd time they've done this same angle, with both MEM and S.E.X. coming to mind immediately.

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