IMPACT Wrestling moving to Pursuit Channel in January
Impact Wrestling has announced a new television partner for 2019. Starting on January 11th, Impact will air Friday nights at 10pm ET on the Pursuit Channel. The Pursuit Channel is an outdoors channel (hunting & fishing) that is affiliated with the Fight Network and FNTSY Sport Network, which are both owned by Impact parent company Anthem.
In a press release sent out Friday morning, Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm put a positive spin on the news. “Pursuit Channel is a natural fit for IMPACT! 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.”
Nordholm continued, “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.”
There are pros and cons to this move. Several months ago, it was widely reported that Pop TV had soured on Impact Wrestling and was looking to drop the show at the end of the year. Impact was drawing around 300,000 viewers this year through July, when things went south. Impact has not drawn above 200,000 viewers since September and dipped below 100,000 in October when Pop TV moved the show out of prime time.
Landing another “TV deal” means Impact Wrestling will live on, for now. On the flip side, the Pursuit Channel is an obscure channel co-owned by Impact’s parent company Anthem, so it’s unlikely they will be getting significant TV rights fees, if any. This latest change of network and air date will not do their audience any favors.