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, July 21, 2013 was estimated to have approximately 200,000 viewers on Challenge TV. An additional 27,000 viewers watched an hour later on Challenge TV +1 bringing the total audience for the episode to 227,000 viewers. This figure represents an increase of about 14,000 viewers from the prior week’s show, which brought in an estimated 213,000 viewers.
The Sunday, July 21, 2013 episode of iMPACT Wrestling was the most viewed program on both Challenge TV and Challenge TV +1.
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 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 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. Also, you can see the impact on both viewership and ratings on TNA Wrestling’s decision to move the show to an 8pm start time (on this side of the pond) in May 2012. Plus, you can see a comparison of iMPACT Wrestling’s ratings and viewership numbers from week-to-week in 2011, 2012, and the beginning of the ratings and viewership tracking information for 2013. Enjoy!