Rumors surfaced approximately two weeks ago, hinting at Anthem Sports wanting to part ways with Impact Wrestling. Anthem purchased the promotion formerly known as TNA less than a year ago. The news seemed hard to buy into for anyone who knows nothing about TNA’s sordid past. To anyone that does, a split this soon didn’t really seem that far-fetched. However, those rumors were laid to rest this past Friday. GFW announced that they’re launching a streaming service. This service will launch next week and will be two dollars lower than WWE Network.
Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports, Ed Nordholm, appeared on Wrestling Observer Radio this past Friday. Every sentence the man spoke was with a confidence that should reassure those still loyal fans of Impact Wrestling.
“We’re invested in this company. We’re growing it. We know it’s not going to turn around tomorrow.”
The goal is to break even and eventually make money, but they knew full well when they purchased the company that wasn’t going to happen overnight.
They plan to set up two tiers, a free tier and a pay tier. Episodes of Impact Wrestling would appear on the streaming service ten days after it airs on Pop TV. This is a great deal better than WWE Network, which doesn’t air episodes of Raw and SmackDown Live until four weeks after they air in USA (due to World Wrestling Entertainment’s deal with NBC Universal).
Their tape library, a surprisingly sought after commodity, will be a part of the pay tier. Approximately one-third of their library will be available when the service starts.
GFW stated they’re not looking to have their product as the sole promotion on their network.
“We want it to be a generic place for AAA, NOAH, if we can persuade New Japan or anybody. We’ll have a plan, an efficient place for an aggregation of wrestling content that isn’t related to WWE.”
Nordholm stated, turning the ship around with this company will not be a short term endeavor. It will take years to gain back the audience they lost, to get to a higher profile network and to be seen as a viable money maker. Will their streaming service be a step in the right direction or another potential money pit? We’ll get our answer soon enough.