Things got worse for Impact Wrestling last week when it was announced that they were moving to the Pursuit Channel. People in the company tried to put a positive spin on things but it comes off as a huge downgrade because the channel is available in far fewer homes than Pop TV.
Pursuit is a sister channel of The Fight Network and they will air Impact on Friday nights at 10 pm eastern, a timeslot that is much worse than the one they had on Pop TV.
As reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Impact’s contract with Pop expires at the end of this year but an agreement was made to keep the show on until Impact could find a new home…that ended up being the Pursuit channel.
It’s a bad sign because Impact landing on Pursuit basically means that they were turned down by SyFy, Tru TV, WGN America and possibly other networks and their only choice was to move to a network that is partially owned by Anthem (their parent company). All of this is happening while Impact’s ratings were on the decline while on Pop TV. A move to Pursuit would likely mean another huge drop since that channel is not available on most big cable systems and the ones that do carry it have it on one of their upper pay tiers.
Dave Meltzer had an interesting note about talks to sell the company. He is reporting that there were forces at Impact that were trying to sell the company to All Elite Wrestling a few months ago but the proposal was turned down. Several weeks ago, Ed Nordholm said that they were considering selling the company a year ago.
There is some incentive for Anthem to keep Impact because Impact and UFC were the two most popular programs on The Fight Network in Canada and that network is about to lose UFC programming at the end of this year.
Impact management hopes that the 10 pm timeslot on Friday night will help them out in the long run. They hope that when SmackDown Live moves to FOX in October, wrestling fans will change the channel at 10 pm to watch Impact.