Anthem announces TNA purchase agreement, Dixie Carter’s status

Anthem Sports & Entertainment issued the following press release to to announce their purchase of TNA Impact Wrestling.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in TNA IMPACT Wrestling, and has formed Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. Anthem also owns Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 multi-platform channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, which is IMPACT Wrestling’s exclusive broadcast partner in Canada and worldwide digital partner.

“We are thrilled to have acquired TNA IMPACT Wrestling,” said Ed Nordholm, Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., the parent of Fight Network. “As we grow Anthem’s linear, digital and mobile platforms globally, top tier content with global appeal is key to that success and this acquisition is a perfect strategic addition to our portfolio. IMPACT has been a dominant wrestling brand around the world for more than a decade and we are confident that Anthem can leverage its assets and strategic partnerships to take IMPACT Wrestling to even greater heights.”

Mr. Nordholm, who has been the managing director of the IMPACT Ventures Board of Managers since October 2016, will assume the position of President of Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. Dixie Carter will resign from her position as Chairman of Impact Ventures and join the Advisory Board of Fight Media Group, which holds all of the combat sports-related assets of Anthem, where her focus will be on the global growth of the combat sports-related brands owned by Anthem.

“Anthem has been a great partner for many years,” added Dixie Carter. “We have worked hard to find the right company who would acquire TNA, use its strategic influence and have a long-term commitment to the brand. TNA’s incredible fans, talent and staff deserved to see the brand continue to thrive after 15+ years of incredible growth. I’m excited to move to a new position and work with Anthem on their global strategic plan, and I am confident TNA IMPACT Wrestling is going to be a huge part of their success.”

Ms. Carter will remain a minority equity stakeholder.

Powell’s POV: The writing was on the wall when Anthem publicly announced that they would be willing to reimburse Billy Corgan for the money he borrowed to Carter. Some assumed that the company was simply providing a loan to Carter to keep the lights on, but Anthem clearly had interest in purchasing the company and wasn’t going to do so while Corgan still had the option to convert the money he was owed into an equity stake in the company. The Wednesday night timing of the announcement is odd. I’m all for alerting talent and office staff before the general public and will be understanding if that’s what happened, but you’d think they would prefer to make a bigger splash by making the announcement in a more high profile manner. Here’s hoping that the new owners realize that Carter is the last person who should be the face of their new acquisition and her inclusion in the press release will be the end of her public involvement. She has become the face of failure for TNA, and the company desperately needs an image overhaul.



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