The major story this week (until WWE releases the latest WWE Network subscriber count on Thursday) is TMZ.com’s report that Spike TV is currently not planning to renew TNA Impact Wrestling.
With TNA’s future in jeopardy if they are unable to reach an agreement with Spike and Viacom, speculation has begun as to whether WWE would be interested in acquiring TNA’s tape library.
On the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, it was said that WWE would likely make an offer to TNA, if the company were to shut down. The going rate for tape libraries is approximately $500 per hour of footage. TNA has approximately 1,000 hours of Impact Wrestling footage, so an offer of $500,000 is what they would likely receive.
In response to the TMZ report, TNA President Dixie Carter tweeted that she is currently still in negotiations with Spike TV and the new of Impact’s cancellation was premature. When contacted for a statement, Spike TV said they do not comment on matters related to “ongoing negotiations.”
As for why TMZ.com ran the story, it’s possible that TNA tried playing hardball in hopes of landing a good TV deal and somebody at Viacom leaked the news to “call their bluff” and essentially put TNA in checkmate. Without a national television clearance, TNA would likely go out of business. The company would then attempt to shop Impact Wrestling around to other cable networks, but they are not in a powerful negotiating position.
Especially without major names like Hulk Hogan and Sting, TNA has very little leverage to land another lucrative TV deal, despite their consistent viewership above 1 million viewers per week.