Before it was announced last Friday that Impact Wrestling would be moving to Wednesday nights beginning on June 3, 2015, Destination America officials made the decision to cancel the show and all other programming from the Nashville, Tennessee-based company. This is according to Dave Meltzer in this week’s issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which was published Wednesday night.
It was noted to Meltzer that all TNA programming will cease to air on Destination America at the end of the third quarter of the year. This is roughly the last week of September, when the current television season ends. Key people at parent company Discovery Communications were informed of the decision.
Two major reasons were given for the cancellation of TNA shows. While Destination America officials considered the ratings for Impact Wrestling to be good, the numbers were not good enough to justify the cost of the programming. The other problem was that a number of the cable network’s advertisers specifically did not want to advertise during Impact Wrestling.
The decision from Destination America was meant to be kept secret, quite like how Spike executives kept secret publicly last year their decision to drop Impact Wrestling for months after the decision was made and reported. A public acknowledgment is expected to be made when the station reveals its 2015-16 television season prime-time lineup.
Following the March 13, 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, which saw viewership sink to a new low, Destination America officials made the decision to cancel Saturday morning programming under the belief that eliminating the replay would help the Friday numbers—the only numbers they care about. Although there was a slight increase, all first-run programming with the exception of Impact Wrestling airing multiple times on Friday nights was axed due to the cable network’s difficulty in selling advertisement time. For the May 8, 2015 “live” episode of Impact Wrestling, Destination America purchased an advertisement in the USA Today newspaper to promote the show, believing that additional advertising and it being almost live would lead to an increased rating. Instead, Impact Wrestling did its second lowest number on Destination America, and the replay, which is primarily watched by viewers in the West Coast, drew a record low. Days later, Destination America executives made the decision to cancel all TNA Wrestling programming.
Dixie Carter, President of TNA Wrestling, was made aware of Destination America’s decision early last week although it doesn’t appear that most of the talent knew anything since word of this had not gotten around. Her knowledge of the cancellation may have played a part in Impact Wrestling moving to Wednesday nights, but that is uncertain. Carter didn’t respond to any questions on the subject from Meltzer.
Meltzer noted in his report that Destination America’s decision has not been finalized. Employees at the station, however, not been told anything new since a memo was issued to them informing them of the cancellation.