TNA wrestling’s costly experiment of touring their weekly Impact show around the country has come to an end. They will return to Universal Studios in Orlando, Fl, on November 21st – launching a new concept they’re marketing as “Where Action Never Ends”.
According to a rather convoluted press release this basically means select footage from house shows will be uploaded on to the TNA Youtube channel and spliced in to the Impact broadcast. Wrestlers will also be filmed and encouraged to provide their own content from on the road and in their homes, for possible inclusion on TV and online – a great opportunity for them to get themselves over.
Though it’s being pushed as a “24/7” format, if you read between the lines this doesn’t mean 24 hours of programming will be broadcast in some kind of stream, it means content will be picked out from a variety of non-TV sources, and updated regularly online, with video later edited in to the 2 hour Impact broadcast.
So far TNA have just created a new Social Media page on the website where they update fans with Tweets, Instagram photos, and short Tout like videos. In that sense one has to question whether we’ll see much of a difference at all. A few more online videos and some different elements to Impact is not revolutionary. Neither is pooling social media content on one page.
Unless you’re a super hardcore fan there’s no way you’re going to watch every pointless promo video that scrolls past.
In my opinion – and I stress that this is my personal opinion – I hate the scattered nature of internet wrestling videos. I detest having to friggin sit there and click away to watch another couple of minutes of footage. It would be much more effective if they not only pooled this on one page, but actually edited it in to a nice clean one hour online show of its own. I explored this in a past blog post entitled When Will Wrestling Fully Embrace Youtube?
They could easily upload their distant B Show Xplosion, which only airs internationally on to Youtube. Or better yet, why not produce a completely new show and present it as a fundamental part of the product? There are numerous benefits for doing this, and costs are minimal as everything can be taped during the Impact shows, similar to how WWE do their multi-show tapings.
In having a free show online it gives something to fans that have no option to watch the product, whether this be because they’re overseas where TNA doesn’t have a TV deal, or they can’t currently afford or for whatever reason don’t have basic cable (about 50% of US households don’t).
This can be seen as a potential investment, where you hook these fans for the future when they might then have more access to the product, or to sell them extras such as video games or live event tickets. It would also help general brand awareness. Simply put, the more people that see and talk about your product the better. I was quite amused that during a recent trip to Greece the likeness of Christopher Daniels and Velvet Sky were being used on a banner for a gym.
Meanwhile for fans that are already immersed in the product it provides a second avenue to promote Impact on Spike TV, sell tickets, hype PPVs and hammer home storylines.
Because it’s an online show there’s no added pressure, so they could use it as an experimental ground for new concepts and productions methods. They could also test out rookie wrestlers and build them up before debuting on television. Equally it could be used to give lower card talent more ring time.
I didn’t consider house show footage when writing the post, but a one hour show featuring select matches from live events, and wrestler’s personal fan cam style promo footage would be awesome. It’s also much easier to promote than having 50 million random crappy clips on a social media page. The show’s called TNA Online, it goes up at a certain time every week, and the announcers hammer it every week on Impact. Simple. None of this confusing 24/7, but not really, action never ends nonsense. I had enough of that with Tout and the WWE APP.
Here is the press release:
TNA LAUNCHES UNPRECEDENTED “WHERE ACTION NEVER ENDS” 24/7 CROSS-PLATFORM PROGRAMMING
TNA BRINGS FANS CLOSER THAN EVER BEFORE TO THE REAL LIVES OF WRESTLING SUPERSTARS
Coming off the heels of one of TNA’s highest-attended “Bound For Glory” Pay-Per-View events to date, TNA Wrestling announces a 24/7 cross-platform programming initiative, “Where Action Never Ends,” beginning today. Marking an evolution in the way fans experience professional wrestling, through this initiative, cameras will be rolling on the TNA superstars at live events, on the road and in their homes, giving viewers the chance to experience IMPACT Wrestling 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
How this will work: Fans will see compelling, “cameras everywhere” content infused into IMPACT Live on Spike TV every Thursday from 9-11 p.m. ET. For the remaining 166 hours of the week until the next show, they will also have the chance to see many of the wrestlers they love and storylines they follow unfold as this exclusive content filmed during the week will be presented online at www.impactwrestling.com, on social channels including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as a variety of new distribution channels in the coming months.
A longtime valued partner, Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla, will serve as the hub for TNA’s revolutionized programming strategy with shows primarily taping at their location, along with some IMPACT shows that will be filmed on the road from different markets. The first IMPACT show scheduled from Orlando will air live on November 21.
“The way that people view television has dramatically shifted, and it is incumbent upon us to deliver a modern, revolutionized way of watching professional wrestling to our fans,” said President Dixie Carter. “Our reality is that we only have 82 minutes of programming each week and a large roster of talented professionals that deserve more exposure. With our new ‘Where Action Never Ends’ creative direction, we will deliver just that for both them and the fans.”
Carter continued, “Bringing live events to our fans across the globe will remain a vital element of TNA’s business; however, our renewed focus, as it relates to our television programming, will shift from live event touring to 24/7 show content, so that fans can really get to know our talent. And, in making Orlando’s Universal Studios our programming hub, we have the powerful combination of state-of-the art production facilities and incredible soundstages that will make it easier for us to launch this new production-intensive initiative. We will also be working with Universal to develop new and creative ways for park guests and fans from around the world to experience a unique TNA attraction.”
“Universal Studios Florida Production Group is pleased to be TNA Wrestling’s partner as it launches its 24/7 cross-platform initiative ‘Where Action Never Ends’,” said Pamela Tuscany, Vice President and General Manager, Universal Studios Florida Production Group. “We look forward to the successful launch of ‘Where Action Never Ends’ giving viewers the chance to experience IMPACT Wrestling 24 hours a day/7 days a week.”
Along with a refreshed creative approach, several new characters will be announced in the coming months. In recent weeks, fans have already seen Ethan Carter III (EC3) and Lei’D Tapa, TNA’s newest Knockout. Universal Studios will also serve as the primary training facility for TNA talent moving forward, providing the opportunity to train and develop talent on an ongoing basis.
The strength and success of TNA’s programming worldwide is at an all-time high. TNA Wrestling ratings around the world are seeing significant increases particularly in important international television markets such as the UK and Germany where the show is the number one wrestling program on television. Additionally, TNA recently inked new deals with distribution partners in Portugal and New Zealand, renewed a multi-year deal in France, and recently-launched programming in India is performing beyond expectation.
“A decade ago, TNA started as a Pay-Per-View only company only and has grown into a global success. I am more excited than ever about our ‘Where Action Never Ends’ creative direction and what will become the next evolution of professional wrestling,” said Carter.