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.
Big Machine Label Group has signed a licensing agreement with Cox Media Group to share revenues related to the playing of songs by its artist roster, which includes Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Brantley Gilbert. The deal spans both Cox's broadcast and digital platforms in the media company's 11 markets around the country.
“Big Machine understands that a forward move in the digital broadcasting space is a must to get ahead of the many opportunities that a digital dashboard and other digital initiatives are going to bring. We are thrilled to continue to elevate our partnership with this incredible company as the broadcasting sea change continues,” said Big Machine President and CEO Scott Borchetta.
Nashville broadcaster Dominic Mancuso has been named the new vice president and general manager of two Cleveland, Ohio, television stations owned by Raycom Media, reports Cleveland.com. Mancuso is the general manager at three Nashville stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting — Fox affiliate WZTV, MyNet affiliate WUXP and CW affiliate WNAB. He is also the current chairman of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters. In Cleveland, he will replace Bill Applegate, who is retiring as GM of WOIO and WUAB.
"I've been doing as much research and learning as I can long-distance, but I really start learning the day I walk in the door," Mancuso said Tuesday during a telephone interview from his office in Nashville. "That's when I'll really dig in and get to know the people and the operation there. But Cleveland is Raycom's largest market, so it's a complete thrill and honor to be chosen to lead WOIO and WUAB."
Seven-year-old Cell Journalist has been sold to ScribbleLive, a fellow content engagement platform play based in Toronto. Cell Journalist was backed by locally based investment firm Conduit as well as others and counted Nashville's TV stations as well as nearly 20 Media General properties among its 150-plus customers. Kelley Boothe at Southern Alpha has the details and the context.
Executives at ABC will next month unveil their fall lineup of shows. At MusicRow, Jessica Nicholson has done a nice job summing up why fans shouldn't fret about Nashville being renewed for a third season. Among the positive signals are the application of the TV network's marketing muscle behind a broadcast special and the apparent success of a concert tour featuring songs from the show.
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