Recent viewership estimates for iMPACT Wrestling on Challenge TV in the United Kingdom are now available. The estimates show that the flagship show for iMPACT Wrestling continues to be the most watched professional wrestling program in the United Kingdom as well as the most watched professional wrestling program in that country for the last 10 years.
The episode of iMPACT Wrestling that aired on Sunday, August 28, 2011 was the first episode to air during the show’s new time slot on Sunday nights. The show was estimated to have approximately 194,000 viewers. This estimate is a decrease of about 15,000 viewers from the episode that aired earlier in the week (the final Tuesday episode of iMPACT Wrestling), which brought in about 209,000 viewers.
By comparison, WWE’s Monday Night RAW aired on Monday, August 22, 2011 and had approximately 101,000 viewers on Sky Sports 3. Smackdown aired on Friday, August 26, 2011 and had approximately 97,000 viewers on Sky Sports 2.
When reviewing these numbers, please note that WWE opted to negotiate a television deal with the Sky Sports suite of channels which means that their programming is on a package that must be paid for by the viewer. When iMPACT Wrestling negotiated a new deal in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, they opted to go with a free channel that viewers do not have to pay for in their cable package. WWE’s choice to place their programming on a paid channel versus iMPACT Wrestling’s choice to place their programming on a free channel likely has an affect on the number of viewers watching each of the promotions’ television shows. Also worth noting is that WWE has much more programming in the United Kingdom and Ireland (including a live airing of RAW, a repeat of RAW, Smackdown!, a repeat of Smackdown!, a show called Experience, another show called Bottom Line, a show called Vintage, a show called Afterburn, and pay-per-views) and thus some folks could surmise that their product is overexposed in that market. However, iMPACT Wrestling is still the most watched professional wrestling program in the United Kingdom over the last 10 years – a phenomenal accomplishment for the promotion.
If you’re interested in iMPACT Wrestling’s ratings performance in the United States for 2010 and 2011, then check out TNAStars.com’s Ratings War area. In the Ratings War area you can see a comparison of iMPACT Wrestling vs. Monday Night RAW from the spring of 2010 and iMPACT Wrestling vs. Superstars from all of 2010 and the first part of 2011. In addition, you can see all of the viewership estimates (from this side of the pond) for 2011, too. Enjoy!