Impact Wrestling announces new television deal and move to Friday nights

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Impact Wrestling issued the following press release to announce their new television deal with Pursuit Channel.

IMPACT Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., announced today it has entered into an agreement to broadcast its flagship weekly two-hour program IMPACT! nationally across the U.S. on Pursuit Channel, the most widely distributed outdoor network and one of the fastest growing channels in the country.

Beginning on Friday, Jan. 11, featuring the aftermath of Homecoming, IMPACT Wrestling’s first marquee pay-per-view event of the year, IMPACT! will air weekly on Pursuit Channel on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET.

“Pursuit Channel is a natural fit for IMPACT!” said Ed Nordholm, president of IMPACT Wrestling. “It has a passionate viewership base that correlates strongly with our core audience, and is one of the few broadcast destinations that is expanding its footprint, enjoying a 15% increase in broadcast distribution this year alone. With IMPACT Wrestling coming off a tremendous year of audience growth globally and positive fan engagement, we look forward to leveraging our respective resources to bring fans more of the wrestling content they want to see: tougher, edgier action.”

“Pursuit Channel is pleased to welcome IMPACT Wrestling into our Friday night lineup of popular shows,” said Rusty Faulk, CEO and founder of Pursuit Channel. “IMPACT Wrestling programming is perfect for our audience, which enjoys adventurous content to feed their wild side. We look forward to a long partnership and providing our fans with new and exciting world-class content while expanding IMPACT Wrestling’s audience to a new base.”

Showcasing top professional wrestling stars such as IMPACT World Champion Johnny Impact, who starred in the most recent season of the hit CBS show Survivor, plus Brian Cage, Eli Drake, Moose, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, Pentagon Jr., Fenix, Rich Swann, the high-flying X-Division and the Knockouts, including Champion Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary, Allie and Su Yung, IMPACT! has been a leading destination for professional wrestling fans, televised globally in 120 countries since its inception in 2002, while growing its popularity and reach on YouTube, Twitch, Pluto and social media platforms.

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Powell’s POV: Perhaps it’s because I’m not an outdoorsman, but I’d never heard of Pursuit Channel until this press release arrived. Wikipedia lists the network’s sister stations as Fight Network and FNTSY Sport Network, which are both owned by Anthem. In fact, Anthem lists Pursuit on its official website and notes that it has a “significant minority investment” in the company. Anthem CEO Leonard Asper joined Pursuit’s management team in 2012. The network is available on DirecTV 604 in HD, Dish Network 393 in standard, and on various cable networks. Despite the network change, Impact will continue to air in a later time slot with only one hour in prime time.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Nick Perkins discussing the idea of the McMahon family vowing changes on WWE television.


Readers Comments (10)

  1. Fabulous Freebirds December 21, 2018 @ 11:01 am

    One of the few positives: No more ratings analysis. Way too many focused on that instead of enjoying the show. That’s done, this won’t appear on the top 150 cable shows. Ever. This is in the BEIN, AXS category.

    • Think again! From the Pursuit website: “January 2018, Pursuit Channel becomes Nielsen rated.” So it may not be in the top 150, but the number should eventually be released.

      • Fabulous Freebirds December 21, 2018 @ 3:02 pm

        From Dave Meltzer:

        “Pursuit only started subscribing to Nielsen in the early part of this year. However, in listings of even minor stations when it comes to homes cleared, it is not listed.”

        Yeah, ratings won’t be showing up.

        • I read that as the network’s numbers are so pitiful that nothing is showing up on the lists, but perhaps I’m mistaken. If Impact does numbers similar to what they are now then the folks at Showbuzz and other subscribers should have access to them. If they take a substantial hit then they probably won’t register. Basically, as an Impact fan, you should want those numbers to appear even on the fringe report since it would mean they are doing well enough to register.

        • Smave Deltzer doesn’t know jack crap about anything.

  2. Pursuit is on KlowdTV, too.

    I’ll be honest, I was hoping they’d land something with a bit more exposure; but it’s a lateral move at worst. I’d think, given the partnerships that exist, Pursuit will at least promote the show more. Now how many homes that network reaches is a different question.

    The quality of the show has improved immensely though, so I’m hopeful it keeps going.

    • From being available in 67 million homes on Pop and falling to 30 million available homes on the Big Buck Hunter network is not a lateral move. Impact is going to spin it as a positive just as anyone in their position would do. They also spun it as a positive when they moved to Destination America and then to Pop. It’s just what you do. But this is step down. And Pop promoted Impact during their other programming (I remember seeing ads during Schitt’s Creek for example).

      • I didn’t realize Pop reached 67 million homes, being that most people I’ve talked to have never heard of it. I would’ve pegged that closer to the 30 million mark. That’s certainly not great…

        • POP used to be the “TV Guide Channel”, but with the advent of smartphones and on-box TV guides the old paper and TV methods became obsolete so they turned Pop into a generic syndication channel.

          Personally, I thought Pop was an upgrade over Destination America because Destination America was Discovery’s Niche “Merica” channel that was hard to access. Now I think Pursuit is a huge downgrade over even DA. I checked out the channel recently and it’s as low as it gets. At least on Pop (or even a channel like El Rey) I like the other programming on the channel.

    • Fabulous Freebirds December 21, 2018 @ 3:04 pm

      No. Pursuit channel is terrible. Anthem just basically threw Impact on a channel they have some ownership in. This is not a good move.

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