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TNA’s UK broadcast partner is dropping Impact Wrestling for 2017

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This is probably not the kind of news Dixie Carter and company need right now.

Challenge TV in the United Kingdom announced via their website they’ll no longer be broadcasting Impact Wrestling after this year:

We know that many TNA fans will be disappointed to hear this, but we wanted to let you all know that as of January 2017, Challenge will no longer be the home of TNA in the UK. TNA has been a huge and important part of Challenge’s story over the years and we will treasure some great moments like the British Bootcamp and UK tours. We have been proud to bring UK viewers coverage of TNA and have huge respect for the company and its fans. TNA is packed with great talent and we know they will continue to do great things – we wish them all the best.

TNA responded via their Facebook page, where they point the finger at spoilers and tape delay, pledging to get Impact on the air closer to when it’s broadcast in North America:

We are proud to have had such a great relationship with Challenge, and appreciate how the channel brought Impact...

Posted by Impact Wrestling on Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Wrestling was always a bit of an odd fit for Challenge, a network focused on game shows, but they’d made it work since 2011. The UK market had long been considered a strength for TNA, with British tours being a success and episodes of Impact taped there considered to have a better energy than ones filmed in Orlando. But, even if that’s still true, it’s all even more up in the air than ever after this announcement.

International television revenue is a key piece of what’s been keeping TNA afloat, as their deal in the United States with Pop TV includes little upfront money, instead relying on a split of advertising revenue (and ad sales are allegedly not great). The company still has deals in several other countries - most notably India - but everything is contigent on their ability to produce episodes... and they’re still one short for the remainder of this year and don’t have anything for 2017.

Their Canadian broadcaster, Fight Network and their parent company Anthem Entertainment, are positioned as major players in TNA’s ongoing ownership crisis, and being the owners who look for a new television partner in the UK.

Stay tuned... if you can.