My first reaction upon hearing the news that Impact had scored a lowly .5 Nielsen rating this past week was, "Ugg! I wouldn't want to be at TNA's Nashville headquarters about now!" But when I learned that Raw had done the same 3.1 it did last week when Impact scored a 1.0, it made me think about the overall state of wrestling: I could somewhat understand Impact losing 739,000 viewers to Raw; Raw had a three-hour "Draft" special, while Impact was offering a taped broadcast. Just as the stars were aligned to give Impact a relatively good rating a week ago, the opposite was true this week.
If Impact had stolen viewers from Raw with a strong, live show a week ago, looking at the .5 could have lead one to believe that Raw recouped its losses this week. That wasn't the case, however. Impact lost half its viewers and Raw did not pick them up! My question is, where did these fans go?
Unless somebody started the NFL season without telling me, I can't think of a single reason why there would be a 12 percent loss in the total wrestling audience one week (6,106,000-5,267,000). Why such a major overall drop-off?
I'd like to tell you that I know the answer, but I don't. Maybe you have some suggestions you'd like to share. And while you're at it, can you tell me how, coming off such a hot show, Impact managed to lose half its audience? I know it was taped and people have easy access to the results, but that can't explain such a steep decline, can it?
One further note: TNA might have to get used to the possibility that the 739,000 fans who viewed Impact on Monday night is their viewership baseline. Before Impact was slotted on Monday nights, I believed that the 1.2 rating Impact was averaging on Thursday nights was a given, and I'm pretty sure that TNA management felt the same way. Now we can surmise that a good chunk of that Thursday audience was comprised of people who merely like to watch wrestling and were not necessarily TNA loyalists. TNA had a good thing going as the only wrestling show televised on Thursday night. Its audience was consistent in the 1.2/1.3 range and there was no discussion over which shows were taped and which were live.
I know it would be a blow to certain people in the organization with mega egos, but it might be worth TNA considering throwing in the towel on Monday nights. If they need to save face, they can always spin it that they are moving as a service to its fans with Monday Night Football quickly approaching.