TNA just made the smartest business decision they’ve made since Vince Russo went bye bye. Starting immediately, the number of pay-per-view events they’ll be putting on in a year has dropped from 12 to 4.
This is a fantastic move, one I wish WWE would echo. They won’t, since unlike TNA their PPVs still make money, but a guy can dream, can’t a guy?
For TNA, this makes all the sense in the world. When you’re losing money on pretty much every show, why put them on? When you don’t have enough stories in which people are invested and that are ready to pay off for a pay-per-view, what do you need that pay-per-view for?
By cutting back, TNA has accomplished something very important, at least in theory. Since they’re very much a ratings driven organization that depends heavily on Spike TV, they tend to load up a lot of Impacts with things that would normally be on PPV. Unfortunately, they do this at the expense of those PPVs, making them seem less important than they should. With much less pay-per-view time to fill, a competent writing crew (something TNA has now) should be able to give the Spike people enough to keep them happy, while at the same time save enough to make the big events feel big and worth paying for.
For example, this Sunday’s Genesis show isn’t one I was going to buy, at least not if something on the Impact I haven’t seen yet didn’t absolutely blow me away. But now that the only other PPV action I’ll be getting this year will be in March, June and October, there’s more of a reason for me to plunk down some money. Give me less of something I generally enjoy and there’s a chance I’ll want it just a little more.
And there’s another interesting wrinkle to this decision. Because TNA has contracts with international markets that require them to produce a certain amount of programming, they’re going to start filming concept specials that will air on non-PPV months. Word is that while these will air in the usual way over seas, they’ll also be available in North America as discount pay-per-views. I obviously don’t know how well they’ll do, but it’s a nice way to potentially bring in a little bit of extra cash.
All of this is a no lose situation. Wrestlers won’t lose out on dates because of the sudden lack of pay-per-views, TNA won’t be throwing money away month after month on pay-per-views that nobody is ordering, the writing crew won’t have to work quite as hard to come up with material and the cheap PPV tournament type shows might just hook a few new fans looking for a fun way to kill a few hours.
Well done all around, this is. I hope WWE is taking notes. There a guy goes, dreaming again.