TMZ is reporting that Nashville-based TNA Wrestling has been informed by Spike TV that its premiere show, Impact, will not be renewed when its contract is up in October.
A Spike spokesman told Post Sports "we don't comment on ongoing negotiations," which at least insinuates that it's not necessarily a done deal (or that it's a deal not ready for public consumption). TNA did not return a request for comment.
Spike has aired Impact since 2005 and while the promotion has had some success — it averages about 1 million viewers per week — it's failed to make much of dent in industry leader WWE. (TNA is reasonably popular and even competitive with the WWE in certain overseas markets, though, particularly in Europe and south Asia.)
Despite rising new competition from former TNA impresario Jeff Jarrett, who launched his own Global Force Wrestling this spring and already has partnerships with some of the top overseas promotions (such as New Japan and Mexico's AAA), TNA is still regarded as the clear No. 2 wrestling promotion in the U.S. (Of course, you could drive a billion Andre the Giants in the hole between 1 and 2.)
From recently retired WWE announcer (and hopefully future Fox Soccer play-by-play man) Jim Ross:
Obviously, this is a blow to TNA but they have a weekly audience of approximately 1M viewers which will interest some cable networks. The question is can TNA negotiate a deal that will financially keep them in business in today's entertainment world with this quick turnaround?
WWE got less of a rights fee from NBC/Universal to stay on the USA Network than many predicted so one could assume another cable entity might not be willing to pay top dollar for TNA with the current perception that broadcasters apparently have regarding the genre.
One would assume/hope TNA finds a new cable home and they move their fan base with them. If not, Viacom's Spike Network is in the same position TBS was in when Jim Crockett Promotions found themselves in financial duress. TBS bought out JCP and WCW aired on TBS & TNT for years. The question is does Viacom want to own a pro wrestling franchise to go with their newly acquired MMA franchise Bellator?
ESPN and Comcast have come to terms that will have the former broadcast the SEC Network on the latter in time for football season:
ESPN and Comcast Cable have reached an agreement for carriage of the SEC Network, which will begin rolling out to fans and followers of the Southeastern Conference across Comcast markets at the start of the SEC college football season. Comcast subscribers will also have authenticated access to additional live events scheduled for the SEC Network's and Comcast's digital platforms - including the Xfinity TV Go app and website, WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com - with the ability to watch SEC Network live and on-demand content anytime, anywhere on their television, computer, tablet or mobile device. With the addition of Comcast, the SEC Network will be available to 46 million households nationwide.
"We are extremely pleased to have reached this agreement with ESPN to deliver the SEC Network to Xfinity TV customers on multiple platforms," said Matt Strauss, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Video Services, Comcast Cable. "Whether in the home or on the go, Xfinity TV customers will be able to watch their favorite Southeastern Conference teams in more ways than ever before."
Comcast is the nation's largest cable provider.
The American Federation of Musicians is suing Spike TV and Jim Owens Entertainment for more than $1 million in unpaid wages, reports MusicRow.com. The musicians union says its members are owed that money for post-2012 airings on the Heartland TV network (essentially the relaunched TNN) of shows they recorded during the 1980s and 1990s. The AFM's Dave Pomeroy says his team filed its complaint after trying to negotiate a deal for more than a year.
Scripps Networks executives say their GAC property will get a new look Tuesday, when it also will revert to using its full Great American Country name. The brand overhaul — the network's new logo is at left — is being handled in conjunction with Los Angeles-based Big Block Design Group. GAC executives say the rebranding is part of a broader overhaul that includes a deeper push into lifestyle programming.
Knoxville-based Scripps Networks has named a new president of its operating division, which contains The Food Network and HGTV as well as downtown-based Great American Country. Burton Jablin is taking over the top spot from John Lansing, who is taking an early retirement from Scripps after tripling its cable business to $2.3 billion in revenues over nine years.
A group of aspiring local country music artists will soon have a bunch of A&E cameras trailing their quest to hit it big. The television network has commissioned eight, hour-long episodes for its new show Crazy Hearts: Nashville. There's no word yet on when we'll get to watch it.