TNA saw a ratings increase for its third episode of Impact Wrestling since the show moved to PopTV. This week’s show drew 321,000 viewers at 9pm ET and an additional 122,000 for the midnight replay, according to Dave Meltzer. Those numbers are up from the previous week’s 288,000 and 77,000, respectively.
The increase can be attributed to both Matt Hardy saying he would either win the title or quit TNA, as well as an 11% increase in providers carrying PopTV week-over-week. Meltzer points out that the real growth was in the midnight re-air, since the increase in viewership from the prior week was more than the increase in providers.
While these numbers are not gargantuan by any stretch, growth is always encouraging. It will be a while before TNA reaches the near million viewers the company was bringing in during a chunk of its time on Spike – if it ever happens – but positive momentum is all Dixie Carter and friends can ask for at this point.
Thursday’s TNA iMPACT! replay drew a 0.69 rating, higher than the 0.5 that the original airing did on Monday.
Knowing that they can watch the entire episode of iMPACT! on Thursdays uninterrupted, many fans seem to be focusing on the live Raw on Monday and then catching the replay of the taped iMPACT! We’ll see what happens this week when TNA airs iMPACT! live and if the ratings are higher. Fans being able to read the spoilers online certainly don’t help the taped shows either.
What is also interesting is that there wasn’t anything particularly great about this week’s iMPACT! The main event featured Ric Flair once again gushing blood and making a fool of himself in a match with Abyss, with Flair and Hogan’s WWE Hall of Fame rings on the line. Not exactly riveting stuff.
Next week’s show should have a higher rating because, aside from being live, it will once again be unopposed for the first hour.
Preliminary reports indicate that last night’s episode of TNA iMPACT! did a 0.5 rating while WWE’s three-hour Raw drew a 3.1 rating.
The number for TNA is disappointing, to say the least. It lends credence to my earlier thoughts that maybe the company is hurting itself by replaying the show on Thursdays, taking away a sense of urgency for fans to catch the show on Mondays. It doesn’t help that the show was taped this week and many fans read the spoilers. WWE also cut into their audience by beginning at 8 o’clock.
For WWE, the number is also a bit disappointing but still good considering the company was coming off a less-than-stellar pay-per-view. The sad part is that even though this show featured some very solid wrestling, WWE brass might use this as more evidence that the guest hosts are drawing ratings and that heavy ring action isn’t the right way to go. Hopefully they don’t really believe that, though.
This week’s TNA iMPACT!, which started an hour early, drew a 0.9 overall rating, with the overrun that featured the Knockouts opening four boxes drawing a 1.0. Raw, on the other hand, did a 3.2, down from the previous week’s 3.7 number.
While Raw’s lower rating can be partially attributed to being in direct competition with the NCAA Championship game, it could also be due to TNA wisely having the Kurt Angle – Mr. Anderson ladder match go into the 9:00 EST hour to compete with the opening of Raw.
What is shocking to me is that the overrun did so well. TNA baited viewers in with a potential striptease throughout the show and apparently that strategy worked.
One thing can’t be dismissed and that is that TNA’s rating jumped with an early start time. I’ve been saying it for over a week now that the company should think about moving the show permanently to an 8-10pm slot and hopefully Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter take notice of the success from this week.
As you may have read on the dirtsheets, TNA’s ratings for iMPACT! continue to slide. This week’s show only drew a 0.6 rating, while Raw pulled a 3.7.
I know it’s not fair to compare the two shows, since WWE has a strong Monday night following and has been in that spot for 17 years. But TNA knew what they were getting into. No one is expecting them to beat “the guys up north” right away but continuing to lose viewers is a bad sign.
And please don’t give me the “these numbers aren’t fair because of DVR” sob story. Advertisers don’t care about DVR numbers, they care about who is watching without the ability to fast forward through their commercials. In turn, that’s what the networks also care about.
The sad part is that TNA has put on two strong broadcasts in the last two weeks. There are still bad parts, most noticeably the presence of Bubba the Love Sponge, but things are improving from a storyline progression standpoint.
Despite being up against Raw the night after WrestleMania and airing a taped show, this is scary news for TNA. Next week, the program is scheduled to start an hour earlier at 8pm, which TNA claims is to avoid a battle with the NCAA Championship game.
I think moving the show permanently to an 8 o’clock start time should be given heavy consideration, though. It will give them an hour to hype the second half of the show and try to grab viewers away from Raw by keeping them hooked. Whether they could do that or not is another story, but it’s worth a shot.
At this point, that or a return to Thursday nights with TNA’s tail between its proverbial legs might be the only options.
The ratings are in for both TNA iMPACT! and WWE Raw and both are disappointing for their respective companies.
WWE did a 3.4 rating, down from the previous week’s 3.7, while TNA pulled a 1.0, down from last Thursday’s 1.1 number.
For TNA, this is a discouraging development. Doing a 1.0 on a show that was huge for the company is not a good thing, especially with all the surprises they had. The WWE number does indicate that TNA perhaps pulled some viewers away from Raw and toward iMPACT! though, so that’s an encouraging sign.
It does say something, though, when TNA’s big night drew a number only .2 higher than WWE’s “D” show, Superstars, usually does.