The Wrestling Observer, Spike TV is set to spend a total of $4 million dollars for the combined contracts of Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy and Ken Anderson for Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling.
This has become a mirror of what AOL/Time Warner and Ted Turner did in 1999-2000 with guaranteed contracts for its top talent in World Championship Wrestling which later resulted in financial ruin and eventually sold to Vince McMahon for an undisclosed amount.
In another related report by The Wrestling Observer
, Spike TV is under pressure from its top executives to increase its overall ratings which includes TNA. Spike TV is spending millions on former big name WCW/WWE talent and even attempting to persuade Paul Heyman, in what is a desperation move to pop high ratings that both the network and TNA still have yet to see.
If TNA would worry about what TNA and not what World Wrestling Entertainment is doing then maybe things might be different. When TNA first launched, yes they began as a toned down copy version of the WWE attitude era, but still offered unique matches and more in ring action, eventually making themselves look like WCW Nitro 1999-2000, with no signs of giving their weekly Impact TV show an overhaul. According to TNA, their recent marketing survey indicates there is still a fan base for the original Extreme Championship Wrestling product.
Now in what looks like another last ditch effort, TNA and Spike is shelling out more money on more former WWE/ECW talent with their August Hard Justice Pay-Per View being re-branded to Hard Core Justice. No matter how much Spike and TNA attempt to spend on talent for recycled storylines, the ratings will continue to stay the same. If TNA wants to seriously see a jump in the ratings, regardless of whether they sign Heyman or not, the company needs to seriously look at re-vamping Impact or re-branding it all together. Spike TV needs to ask, is $4 million dollars in 2010 really worth an average weekly rating of 1.1 or lower?
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