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TNA scores a primetime Spike deal




It's been rumoured for weeks, and now it's offical: Starting April 13, TNA iMPACT! moves to Thursday nights at 9 pm ET.

The move was announced today by Spike TV via a press release, though had been reported in trade publications like Multichannel News and on various wrestling websites. Spike TV is planning to use iMPACT! as a lead-in for a new season of UFC's Ultimate Fighter, which moves from Monday nights.

"TNA Wrestling has been delivering strong ratings for Spike and is continually growing its audience," said Kevin Kay, General Manager/Executive Vice-President, Spike TV in a press release. "Wrestling fans have been looking for an alternative and have found it in TNA's brand of high-flying and action-packed entertainment."

At the moment, iMPACT! airs on Saturday nights at 11 p.m. ET. It previously ran on Friday afternoons on Fox Sports Net.

The press release detailed the numbers, which were key in the decision to offer up a primetime slot that will lead viewers into a new series of UFC fighting on Spike TV:

Since launching in October 2005, TNA: iMPACT! Saturday telecasts have averaged a .8/724,000 HH rating, with .8/397,000 in Men 18-49 and a .8/202,000 in M 18-34 with an average audience of 957,000. Compared to YAGO, TNA Wrestling is +56% in HH, +103% in M 18-49 and +72% in average audience. On Saturday, January 28 TNA scored some of its highest ratings with a 1.1/970,000 HH rating with a 1.0/518,000 in M 18-49 and 1.0/252,000 in M 18-34 and an average audience of 1.3 million viewers.

"The move to primetime on Spike is the most significant event in TNA Wrestling's short history," said Dixie Carter, president of TNA Wrestling, in the release. "I am very proud of our entire team and all their hard work in achieving this milestone. Spike has been a fantastic partner, and we have accomplished so much together in just four months. We look forward to continuing to work with them to grow the TNA brand during this exciting time."

Spike TV was the home to WWE Monday Night Raw until fall 2005. Back when the station was known as TNN (The National Network, previously The Nashville Network), it ran an ECW show on Friday nights.

In Canada, iMPACT! on Spike TV will go head-to-head with Friday Night Smackdown!, which airs on Thursday nights on The Score.

-- SLAM! Wrestling

PREVIOUS STORIES

  • July 21, 2005: TNA announces Spike TV deal
  • July 23, 2005: TNA's show will finally air in Canada
  • June 6, 2004 Column: Will TNA lose shirt over TV deal?