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Anthem may be looking to buy a network to put Impact (and other programming) on

Impact’s Twitter

A few weeks ago, a rumor went around that negotiations were underway for Impact Wrestling to move to AXS, New Japan’s U.S. broadcast partner and the home of Women of Wrestling. The show is stuck on Pursuit, which isn’t in very many homes and hasn’t seemed terribly interested in supporting Impact (or even running the correct episode in its Friday night timeslot). The thinking was it could form a Saturday night wrestling block with NJPW and WOW.

The rumor mill went quiet, until earlier today. There was a lot of talk on social media - starting from MMA Twitter-er Fight Oracle (fka Front Row Brian), and later corroborated by Voices of Wrestling, who originally reported the AXS/Impact story - that the talks fell apart. Not too surprising, these things happen. But according to this account, Impact parent company Anthem followed up with an offer to buy AXS. The network is owned by a collection of big money and Hollywood players like Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, CBS, promotions company AEG, and talent agency CAA, among others. Many questioned how Anthem would be able to make an attractive bid for AXS, and that might be part of why they turned down the offer - according to this version of events.

However... PWInsider followed up with a different account. Per Mike Johnson, discussions between AXS and Anthem were always about the Canadian company acquiring the network “in order to add to their footprint in the United States”. If the buyout happens, Impact and other Anthem-owned content (like Fight Network) would land on AXS along with their existing shows, including NJPW and WOW.

Insider says that while Anthem’s original plan to have the purchase finalized and ready to announce after Impact’s Slammiversary pay-per-view (PPV) earlier this month didn’t pan out, the deal is not dead. Talks continue between Anthem and AXS. And if those do fall apart, the plan is to look at other channels/networks they could buy.

Where will Impact land? Had enough landscape-altering news and reports about wrestling companies and their TV plans yet today?

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