Below is a note from President Dixie Carter which is followed by questions asked by fans and Carter’s answers.
Thanks to all of you sending in questions to me. So many of you asked the same questions, in slightly different ways, I wish I could have listed every one of your names associated with the question. I have been reading them all, and will continue to answer more in the coming weeks.
Adam in Chicago – Q: Just wondering if TNA plans to add a second show soon. I’d love that a lot more than just a reairing of Impact!
A: At this time there are no plans to create a second brand to iMPACT! (a la Smackdown), but we are developing two new shows. Look for updates in the near future.
Gabe Ross, Athens, OH – Q: Ratings are a big deal for any company. What are your short and long-term goals in terms of ratings for TNA?
A: Good question. I want to be very clear on this, we NEVER expected to have competitive ratings with RAW at the beginning. I have been very specific in saying that our goal was to grow our brand and our ratings and we felt like we could do that faster on Mondays. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take a big step forward. We expected to have to rebuild part of our audience when moving our programming day and timeslot. We have finally settled in to an 8 pm ET/7 pm CT Monday timeslot with an encore presentation on Thursdays as 9 pm ET. It is going to take some time to build both audiences. We have no ego in saying iMPACT! has to draw a big rating in one night. With the encore, we have grown our overall viewing audience significantly from 2009 averages. We have 4 hours of exposure in prime time on Spike TV. So short term, we have settled in to a new programming schedule and need to give both some time to grow, but are happy with our increased viewership. Long term we want to see the overall ratings for iMPACT! increase significantly, no matter how many airings we have.
Chris Duke, Glasgow – Q: Are there any plans to go live in the UK? And to hold televised events over here?
A: We would love to see both happen, but those are questions for Bravo, our network in the UK, to answer. Both would be their call.
Mark Johns, Lackawanna NY – Q: I was wondering if we were going to see a more expanded travel schedule and bring Impact on the road?
A: In 2007, TNA toured 12 shows on the road. In 2010, we are scheduled to tour approximately 90 dates domestically and internationally. TNA is just starting to establish our live events business; however, we are just not in a position to tour iMPACT! at this point. Touring a television production is very expensive and we must grow our brand significantly before we would consider this business decision.
Jared in NYC – Q: The move to Mondays looks like a failure when you’re changing the timeslot a month later? Thoughts?
A: We discussed both the 8 – 10 pm ET and 7-9 pm ET timeslots with Spike before we moved to Mondays. It would be a failure to stay in a timeslot when you think another one might offer a greater chance for growth. When we started iMPACT! at 8 pm ET for the 3-hour January 4th special and on April 5th when we moved an hour earlier to get a jump on the NCAA Men’s basketball championship game, we saw higher viewership. Instead of moving back to 9 pm the following week, we decided to leave the start time at 8 pm ET and build that timeslot. Now it’s up to TNA, Spike and all of you to spread the word.
Brian from Canton, OH – Q: Do you listen to wrestling podcasts on iTunes like Wrestling Observer w/Brian Alvarez & the daily PWTorch Livecast w/Wade Keller?
A: No, I don’t. I would rather get my input directly from fans like I do from my Facebook, Twitter or in person (always the most fun), and not from sources who are giving their opinions to the viewers.
Duane Penn, Hills Township, PA – Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF VINCE MCMAHON?
A: I have never met him personally; however, I greatly respect the success he has had.
Don from San Antonio, TX – Q: My question is when TNA was first founded it was all about the new talent, now since Hogan has come aboard it seems like all the new talent is getting buried, do you see any resemblance between the “NEW” TNA & the “OLD” WCW???
A: I think there has been more of a solid focus on new talent in the last few months than we have seen in the past. The Pope, AJ Styles, Desmond Wolfe, Abyss, Matt Morgan, Beer Money, Jay Lethal, Doug Williams, Kazarian, Rob Terry, Beautiful People, Angelina Love, Daffney and so many more. I think the young talents that are featured on the show have really stepped up and I am very proud of them. These guys are the “New” TNA. With the exception of Sting, I think every WCW talent we have has also worked for WWE. The only resemblance to WCW would be the guys from The Band who ran together there. Hogan and Flair appear in very different capacities. We are using established brands like Hogan to get mainstream media attention and help build new talent. It’s about balance, and we will continue to provide you with a good balance of established brands and new talent.
Kevin Gander, Prunedale, CA – Q: How do you remain positive and focused with so many negative criticisms? And how do you sift through them to actually make the show better?
A: You learn to have thick skin. I read fan input daily. There is a difference in someone who is passionate about TNA and wants to see something different versus someone who just hates the product (and won’t give it a chance) and they want to complain. Hearing what fans like is the best feedback for me because we can strive to do more of it.