The promotion that will never die kicks out again, as Impact has announced its leaving Pop TV and heading to Pursuit Channel, starting on Jan. 11.
Impact’s current deal with Pop was not a good one for the Anthem-owned fed, as it was said they only received a portion of ad revenue rather than a standard broadcast rights fee. It’s not clear if that’s changed with this arrangement, but their new home is a partner of Anthem’s Fight Network (Anthem Entertainment Group has a “significant minority investment” in Pursuit Channel) and that undoubtedly played a role in the move.
Impact will definitely be in fewer households, as Pursuit is available on Direct TV, Dish Network, AT&T, Verizon FIOS and Cox Communications services, but is missing from Comcast, Charter and others. POST Network’s John Pollock reports that Pop was available in 67 million U.S. homes; Pursuit in 30 million.
It does have an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service on Roku called PursuitUp, but there’s no mention of how quickly Impact will be offered there.
The show will remain in a 10PM Eastern timeslot, but switch to Friday nights - which also means that come October they’ll be on the same day of the week as WWE SmackDown. Airing after that show will finish on Fox may be part of the strategy to grab wrestling fans while they’re already watching wrestling, however.
We’ll wait for answers on all those questions. In the meantime, here’s the press release for the move to a new network and night, which starts in just three weeks:
IMPACT Wrestling and Pursuit Channel Announce Broadcast Agreement to Televise IMPACT! Nationally Across the U.S.
IMPACT! to Premiere Weekly on Fridays at 10:00 p.m. ET on Pursuit Channel, Starting on Jan. 11
TORONTO | LUVERNE – IMPACT Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., announced today it has entered into an agreement to broadcast its flagship weekly two-hour program IMPACT! nationally across the U.S. on Pursuit Channel, the most widely distributed outdoor network and one of the fastest growing channels in the country.
Beginning on Friday, Jan. 11, featuring the aftermath of Homecoming, IMPACT Wrestling’s first marquee pay-per-view event of the year, IMPACT! will air weekly on Pursuit Channel on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET.
“Pursuit Channel is a natural fit for IMPACT!” said Ed Nordholm, president of IMPACT Wrestling. “It has a passionate viewership base that correlates strongly with our core audience, and is one of the few broadcast destinations that is expanding its footprint, enjoying a 15% increase in broadcast distribution this year alone. With IMPACT Wrestling coming off a tremendous year of audience growth globally and positive fan engagement, we look forward to leveraging our respective resources to bring fans more of the wrestling content they want to see: tougher, edgier action.”
“Pursuit Channel is pleased to welcome IMPACT Wrestling into our Friday night lineup of popular shows,” said Rusty Faulk, CEO and founder of Pursuit Channel. “IMPACT Wrestling programming is perfect for our audience, which enjoys adventurous content to feed their wild side. We look forward to a long partnership and providing our fans with new and exciting world-class content while expanding IMPACT Wrestling’s audience to a new base.”
Showcasing top professional wrestling stars such as IMPACT World Champion Johnny Impact, who starred in the most recent season of the hit CBS show Survivor, plus Brian Cage, Eli Drake, Moose, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, Pentagon Jr., Fenix, Rich Swann, the high-flying X-Division and the Knockouts, including Champion Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary, Allie and Su Yung, IMPACT! has been a leading destination for professional wrestling fans, televised globally in 120 countries since its inception in 2002, while growing its popularity and reach on YouTube, Twitch, Pluto and social media platforms.