TNA News: Impact! Wrestling Drops in Viewership; Should a Change Be Made?

Daniel PeragineSenior Analyst IIOctober 28, 2012

Jeff Hardy on Impact! Wrestling. (Photo credit: Lee South, TNA Wrestling)
Jeff Hardy on Impact! Wrestling. (Photo credit: Lee South, TNA Wrestling)

Thursday nights are becoming a drag for TNA Wrestling. 

Despite being live every Thursday night and having a new time slot, TNA has yet to see any sort of benefit in terms of viewership. Unfortunately for the company, that trend continued as Impact! Wrestling struggled once again with lower viewership (via TV By the Numbers).

The Thursday, Oct. 25 edition of Impact! Wrestling had just 1.18 million viewers, down from last week's viewership totals. In adults 18-49, TNA scored only a 0.4 rating, putting them on the lower end of Cable Television's Top 50 list.

NFL Thursday Night Football was No. 1 on cable television's Top 50 list with 5.16 million viewers and scored a 2.2 rating share in adults 18-49.


My quick take on Impact! Wrestling's struggles on Thursday nights:

TNA, like the WWE, is in a funk with their current time slot. WWE's show is suffering much like TNA because of the television competition, including prime time NFL games going head-to-head with their broadcast. 

In WWE's case, Monday Night Raw has just too long of a three-hour format for viewers to tune into. For TNA, their new time slot has not helped them in anyway despite being a better product than in 2011.

Given the fact that TNA has switched time slots three times the past two years, the company should continue to go forth with its story lines rather than scrambling to change its current product. Completely changing its product would confuse viewers, possibly seeing its numbers decrease even further.

The fact is: fall television competition is hurting professional wrestling in terms of viewership.

Changing its current product could result in lasting struggles for TNA.

WWE attempted this course when it brought back Vince McMahon to television, but since his return match against CM Punk, McMahon's comeback was extremely short-lived. Rather than bringing on more talent and changing its story lines, TNA should continue to build for a brighter future by promoting its younger wrestling stars over accomplished ones such as Hulk Hogan or Sting.

The major question that remains is once the fall season ends on television, will TNA heal and grow in terms of viewership or stay at its current numbers? All of that will determine whether the company stays on its course or pulls a few strings in hopes of putting up better viewership totals.