Source: Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board & IWHeadlines.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, September 29, 2013 was estimated to have approximately 198,000 viewers on Challenge TV. An additional 19,000 viewers watched an hour later on Challenge TV +1 bringing the total audience for the episode to 217,000 viewers. This figure represents a decrease of about 37,000 viewers from the September 15th show, which brought in an estimated 254,000 viewers. The September 15th show is the last show for which good data is available.
The Sunday, September 29, 2013 episode of iMPACT Wrestling was the most viewed program on Challenge TV and the seventh most viewed program on Challenge TV +1.
Since iMPACT Wrestling began broadcasting on Challenge TV it has consistently been the most viewed professional wrestling program in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. In fact, an August 2013 episode brought in just over 300,000 viewers while an August 2011 episode drew in nearly 300,000 viewers – both figures not seen in this market since the Attitude Era of the late 1990s. iMPACT Wrestling shattered viewership records in February 2012 with an episode that drew in a total audience of more than 320,000 viewers. One of the reasons why iMPACT Wrestling has been able to achieve such high levels of viewership in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland is because WWE opted to negotiate a television deal with the Sky Sports suite of channels which means that WWE programming is on a package that must be paid for by the viewer. When TNA negotiated their television contract in this market, they opted to go with a free channel so that all viewers could watch their product. 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’ shows.
Also, 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 – among others. With so many shows 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 since the late 1990s – 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 IWHeadlines.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 first half of the ratings and viewership tracking information for 2013. Enjoy!