The primary way that television executives assess whether or not their programming is successful is by the final ratings number and viewership estimates that the program receives after each airing. This is no different in the world of professional wrestling. Below you can find links to the history of the brief Monday night ratings war between IMPACT WRESTLING and WWE RAW and the equally brief Thursday night ratings war between IMPACT WRESTLING and WWE Superstars. In fact, you can even find links to the data showing a comparison between the ratings of WWE Monday Night RAW and WCW Monday NITRO from the 1990s! This page is updated frequently, so please be sure to check back each week for the latest information on the ratings and viewership estimates for IMPACT WRESTLING. And don’t forget to read the note at the bottom of the page regarding DVR viewership!
1995 – The Ratings War Begins…
IMPACT Wrestling Arrives on Destination America (January 2015 – Present)
Starting in January 2015, IMPACT Wrestling moved its primary television show from Viacom’s Spike TV to the Discovery Channel’s Destination America. IMPACT Wrestling’s production agreement with Destination America includes not just its 2 hour flagship show, but a 2 hour encore of the show as well as weekend programming including the new Unlocked program and TNA’s Greatest Matches. IMPACT Wrestling enters 2015 with a variety of other changes including a new voice of TNA as Josh Matthews takes over from Mike Tenay. However, Tenay isn’t going too far away – he will host IMPACT Wrestling’s weekend program Unlocked which will include his unique perspective on backstage happenings in the company as well as additional content that is not aired during the IMPACT Wrestling broadcast. Matthews joins the returning Taz on commentary as IMPACT Wrestling also starts the year by moving from Wednesday to Friday night.
The biggest challenge that IMPACT WRESTLING will face on Destination America is coverage of American households. Not only did their prior agreement with Spike TV include coverage in Canada, but as of August 2013, Spike TV was available in 97,639,000 homes. As of the same month, Destination America was available in 59,616,000 homes. However, with more programming available to grab eyes on the weekends a replay show airing right after the original show airs, IMPACT Wrestling has a great opportunity to grow into the cable channel’s premier program.
The total viewership for any one episode of IMPACT Wrestling is hard to estimate. On his Twitter account, Eric Bischoff suggests that DVR numbers can add a total of 10% to 12% to the final viewership numbers. Historically, we’ve seen DVR+1 and DVR+3 figures (the amount of people who watch the show on their DVR within one day and three days of recording it) add 200,000 more viewers to the final viewership numbers reported above. Plus, the TNA Wrestling channel on YouTube posts a large portion of each episode online with no expiration date. These YouTube clips typically bring in between 50,000 and 100,000 viewers over the course of the first week that they are available. However, as DVR and YouTube viewers are not included in the television viewership estimates above, these figures are rarely if ever reported by professional wrestling “news” websites. We feel that it is necessary to report this information in order to provide a full definition for the entire spectrum of viewers for each episode. We feel that it is necessary to report this information in order to provide a full definition for the entire spectrum of viewers for each episode.