Pop, the joint venture of CBS Corp and Lionsgate, has pacted with TNA Impact Wrestling in a deal that will make the network the exclusive U.S. TV home of the wrestling series. The deal kicks off with a live two-hour broadcast Tuesday, January 5 after which it will settle into its regular weekly 9 PM Tuesday time slot.
Impact Wrestling had been airing on Discovery’s Destination America channel at 9 PM Wednesdays as part of a one-year deal. TNA programming ran on Spike from 2005-14. Pop reaches 80 million homes in the U.S.
This is a move in a new direction for Pop, the former TV Guide Channel that rebranded at the beginning of the year as a destination for fans. So far, Pop’s slate of more than 400 hours of original programming had been built mostly on unscripted series, including Rock This Boat: New Kids On The Block, which was just renewed for Season 2. On the scripted side, the network has Canadian import Schitt’s Creek co-created by and starring Eugene Levy.
“Wrestling has been a fan-fueled staple since the ’50s and continues to be some of the most watched, appointment-tune content in all of television today,” said Pop president Brad Schwartz. “The die-hard fandom and extraordinary passion surrounding Impact Wrestling captures the spirit of Pop as a network that celebrates fan driven entertainment and excitement.”
UTA repped TNA in the deal.