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, February 2, 2014 was estimated to have approximately 136,000 viewers on Challenge TV. An additional 18,000 viewers watched an hour later on Challenge TV +1 bringing the total audience to 154,000 viewers. This figure represents a decrease of about 27,000 viewers from the prior week’s episode, which brought in an estimated 181,000 viewers.
The Sunday, February 2, 2014 episode of iMPACT Wrestling was the third most viewed program on both Challenge TV and 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 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 change in viewership and ratings from TNA Wrestling’s decision to move their show to an 8pm start time in May 2012 and then back to 9pm in 2013. Plus, you can see a comparison of iMPACT Wrestling’s viewership numbers from week-to-week in 2011, 2012, 2013, and the ratings and viewership tracking information for 2014. Enjoy!