Impact Wrestling lands on Spike TV in UK and Ireland in RDA-brokered agreement
Impact Wrestling, a weekly programme produced by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, the US professional wrestling organisation, is to be shown exclusively on a free-to-air basis in the UK and Ireland by Spike TV, a digital channel of commercial broadcaster Channel 5.
The deal was brokered by RDA TV, the UK-based sports media rights agency that distributes international rights on behalf of TNA, which is now majority owned by Anthem Sports & Entertainment.
Impact Wrestling and TNA pay-per-views will air on Spike UK, and TNA Xplosion, which offers highlights and recorded programming, will be available exclusively on the My5 channel.
New episodes of Impact Wrestling will premiere in the UK and Ireland on Friday nights, less than 24 hours behind the US premiere broadcast on POP, the American cable and satellite channel.
Spike replaces Challenge TV, the UK channel owned by pay-TV's Sky, which announced in November that it was dropping TNA from its programming from the start of 2017, having shown the series since 2011.
Ed Nordholm, Anthem's executive vice-president, and president of Impact Wrestling, said: "Since our acquisition of Impact Wrestling, growing the brand in the UK has been one of our most important initiatives. We are thrilled to be partnering with Spike UK to fill this important spot in their programme schedule and look forward to rebuilding our presence in the UK market. As one of the hottest wrestling scenes in the world right now, we look forward to taking an active role in the market, both on television and with live events."
To the fill the void left by Challenge TV's departure, TNA launched the TNA Impact Wrestling app in the UK and Ireland in January. The app, featuring weekly episodes of Impact Wrestling, costs £4.99 ($6.10) per month.