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ANTHEM WRESTLING PRESIDENT ED NORDHOLM DISCUSSES IMPACT WRESTLING'S AXS TV DEBUT, THE FUTURE OF IMPACT ON TV, PRODUCTION DEPARTURES, KILLER KROSS SITUATION, MMA ON AXS TV AND MUCH MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2019-10-01 10:20:00

JOHNSON: So there was an outcry amongst MMA fans about the ending of AXS TV Fights as it existed with the end of the LFA and the live Friday night broadcast of MMA. Do you think MMA is something that might be revisited down the line?

NORDHOLM: For sure.  We program more mixed martial arts content in Fight Network than anyone else in the world. So the fact that LFA didn't work for us as just an example of a particular asset, a particular structure that we didn't think was providing the return on investment that was warranted. We are confident that we will provide MMA content and other combat sports content to the channel and as we get our programming strategy finalized.

JOHNSON: So Impact has been on the Pursuit Network in recent months. There had been talk that perhaps there would still be some Impact related programming on there once Impact moves officially over to AXS. Is there any official word on that or is it still a work in progress?

NORDHOLM:  No.  I mean, AXS TV is the home for Impact Wrestling going forward. We're obviously finishing out the episodes running after Bound For Glory on Friday nights in their Pursuit time slot. As you know, we've introduced some content to introduce the new AXS viewership to Impact Wrestling through the specials that we've created for October 1st and 15th and then the 22nd as sort of a round up session, But those are…once we're through Bound For Glory, we'll let Pursuit get back to the niche that it always had.

JOHNSON: I guess the last question I have for you regarding AXS is this. Impact is now at AXS TV, but does that mean Impact is there exclusively? If someone like the Paramount Network came along and said we'd like to bring Impact back to the former Spike TV, is that within the realm of possibility or are you only going to be an exclusive product for AXS going forward? I guess what I'm saying is, if somebody reaches out now that Impact's on a good foundation again, if somebody else reaches out From a Pop TV or whoever and wants some Impact-related programming, is that still within the realm of possibility?

NORDHOLM: We've got our home for our feature show. It is a unique situation to control the network on which you exist. So I can't imagine frankly a world in which we would take a weekly show and our weekly prime, our premium product, and place it someplace where we're at the whim of somebody else's programming decisions and how they treat us. So I don't see that happening, although I guess for enough money anything can happen, but I don't see that happening and that's not what… we have a home and a good home for Impact Wrestling and I think this is the right spot for it. That's not to say that we wouldn't introduce library content. We have all kinds, 3,000 hours of content that could be purposed as for other networks that could help with brand awareness via library content. But in terms of our weekly premium show, that has a home.

JOHNSON: All right. I wanted to just give you a forum as we close this out. If you wanted to speak to Impact fans or fans who have kind of become lapsed from Impact in recent years with all the jumping around like Frogger, the old video game, from place to place. Now that you are in one place… [Nordholm laughs]. I've been calling it Frogger forever. Now that Impact's in one place where a larger majority, not everybody in the cable universe but a much larger majority, can watch the programming, again, what message do you have to fans who may have lapsed with their interest in Impact or who have never watched Impact before or even with been with you throughout all the trials and tribulations? What message do you have for those fans?

NORDHOLM: It's just the message to come, enjoy, watch the show. We know it's an exciting time to be a wrestling fan. There's all kinds of content available, but we know that we have a unique show.  If you look at how we have programmed the show over the last 18 months, 24, how many months since Scott [D’Amore] and Don [Callis] have been doing this…it’s been a  consistent product [for]  our fans and anyone who wants to watch it. So now I think we're in a location, in a time slot, in a place where people can and should find us and we're confident if they watch, they'll enjoy it.   It is a great time to be a fan of professional wrestling. We remain focused on our task of bringing the best professional wrestling on television to AXS TV. Over the past two years, Impact Wrestling has established a consistent record of delivering outstanding wrestling coupled with compelling stories. Along with WOW-Women of Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling, AXS TV will be the destination for professional wrestling content on television.

JOHNSON: OK, thank you for your time.

NORDHOLM: Thank you Mike.

Impact Wrestling debuts tonight on AXS TV will a broadcast of the company's Homecoming 2019 PPV at 8 PM Eastern.  Impact Wrestling's weekly TV series will debut on Tuesday 10/29.


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