The ratings data for the last year of TNA Impact has been compiled and released, and the findings are not good. TNA Impact averaged a 1.01 rating in the year ending 2012. This is down from last year. In 2011, the average TNA Impact garnered a 1.17 rating. But the negative comparison doesn’t stop there. The rating is also the second worst average rating for TNA Impact in the last six years. Only 2006 was a worse year for TNA. That year, the average rating was 0.89. Although this isn’t the death knell for Total Nonstop Action, it certainly isn’t a positive sign that the company is headed in the right direction.
Some experts may attribute the loss in viewers to the timeslot change that took place earlier this year. TNA Impact was in the 9:00 p.m. Thursday night time slot for over a year and a half before moving to the 8:00 p.m. schedule earlier this year. However, the ratings for the later timeslot did not differ much from the new one, and thus, wasn’t a big factor in the ratings downfall.
Others will point to the removal of Vince Russo from the head of the creative department as one of the reasons the rating has fallen. This too, is a false idea. The hardcore wrestling fans do make up a core of viewers for TNA wrestling, but not a core dominant enough to move the ratings needle. Additionally, the creative direction of TNA has been applauded. Although the storylines themselves are not well liked, fans overwhelmingly enjoy the consistency of the shows. In the past, Vince Russo preferred a more crash television style that was made famous by Vince McMahon in the late 90s. The removal of Vince Russo was not at the helm of the TNA Impact ratings downturn.
One can target any number of reasons as being the sole defying reasons for the ratings slump. But the truth is often more boring than theories. The truth is there are numerous factors that have caused TNA to go down .16 in the ratings from last year. Certainly the timeslot change has some attribution, as well as fair-weather sports fans whom choose NFL Football over TNA Impact. But also, one needs not look further than WWE to see what plagues TNA.
There is a general boredom with professional wrestling today. Fans have turned off the television in droves, and even the massive conglomerate WWE isn’t immune to this. WWE has seen a hit in their ratings as well as pay per view buys, and they are the foremost leader in sports entertainment. It’s only natural that the second place competitor takes an even nastier hit.
For TNA Impact fans, one should not worry. There has been many positive progressions last year, and TNA seems to be on a better track. In fact, the overall boredom with wrestling may benefit TNA. When more fans leave WWE and seek an alternative, the first place they’ll look is TNA. If TNA can produce a show suitable for those fans, they’ll stay with TNA for awhile. The drop in ratings is negative, but TNA should be able to spin it in their favor.