Source: Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board & TNAStars.com
Recent viewership estimates for iMPACT Wrestling on Challenge TV in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland are now available. The episode of iMPACT Wrestling that aired on Sunday, May 20, 2012 was estimated to have approximately 214,000 viewers. This figure represents an increase of about 12,000 viewers over the prior week’s episode, which brought in an estimated 202,000 viewers.
In addition, Challenge TV aired TNA Sacrifice on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. The pay-per-view brought in 174,000 viewers. An additional 27,000 viewers tuned in an hour later on Challenge TV +1 bringing the total estimated audience for this pay-per-view to 201,000 viewers.
Since this is a website operated by fans of and focusing on iMPACT Wrestling, we’ve decided to remove WWE’s viewership numbers from these reports. However, if there is ever anything interesting to report regarding the Stamford-based company’s performance in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, we’ll put it in a future report.
Since iMPACT Wrestling began broadcasting on Challenge TV it has consistently been the highest viewed professional wrestling program in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. In fact, one of the company’s August 2011 episodes drew in nearly 300,000 viewers – a figure not seen in this market since the Attitude Era. iMPACT Wrestling shattered that record in February 2012 with an episode that drew in a total audience that eclipsed 320,000 viewers. One of the reasons why iMPACT Wrestling has been able to achieve high levels of viewership in this market is because 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 TNA Entertainment, LLC negotiated their television contract in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, they opted to go with a free channel that viewers do not have to pay for as a part of 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 total number of viewers watching each of the promotions’ television shows.
Also worth noting is that WWE has much more programming in this market than TNA. Their programming includes a live airing of RAW, a repeat of RAW, a live airing of Smackdown!, a repeat of Smackdown!, NXT, a show called Experience, another show called Bottom Line, a show called Vintage Collection, a show called Afterburn, and live airings of pay-per-views. With all of these programs airing throughout the week some observers and analysts could reasonably suggest that the WWE product is overexposed in this market. However, iMPACT Wrestling is still the most watched professional wrestling program in the United Kingdom over the last 11 years – a phenomenal accomplishment for the younger, smaller promotion.
Interested in learning more about how iMPACT Wrestling’s historical ratings performance and viewership numbers? If so, then check out TNAStars.com’s Ratings War area. In the Ratings War area you can see a comparison of the head-to-head match-up between iMPACT Wrestling and Monday Night RAW from the spring of 2010 and the somewhat head-to-head match-up between iMPACT Wrestling and Superstars from all of 2010 and the first part of 2011. Also, you can see a comparison of iMPACT Wrestling’s viewership numbers from week-to-week (from this side of the pond) in 2011 and the ratings performance and viewership tracking information for 2012. Enjoy!