Friday, November 30, 2012

The Long Haul.....

As stated in the previous column, there are changes coming and I mean BIG changes. Right now, the current product reminds me of WWE circa 2002-2008. I believe this to be a good thing for TNA. It bodes well for the organization to have a look that is reminiscent of their bigger competition in happier times. But that's not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is just what kinds of changes TNA has been employing as of recent AND what the cutting of PPVs could mean for the future of TNA as an entity.

As stated before, TNA wants to cut down the PPV number and Dixie has been vocal about doing so in part, because it costs too much money for not enough return. In short, TNA doesn't want to simply break even when it comes to the buyrates they bring in. They want to be able to thrive and under a 12 PPV system, it seems less likely to happen. TNA wants the fans to look at a PPV event as a special occurrence. With the major PPV events right now being Slammiversary, Bound for Glory, and Lockdown, there is talk of having a schedule built around each of the major PPVs.

Right now, there is a tremendous amount of energy devoted to long term booking spanning MONTHS in advance with only minor alterations being made on the fly. Do you know what that does? It makes the talents FAR more confident in the direction of the product because now there's a plan in place. SO, why bring the long term booking shtick up? Because under one possible scenario, TNA would cut a single PPV from each quarter and, in its place, put a TV Special. The following month would feature what I would call a "build up PPV" leading the month after into what I would call a "MAJOR PPV." For all you Math majors out there, that brings the grand total of PPVs down to 8.

Since Spike TV has been TREMENDOUSLY supportive of the TNA product, it MAY allow for this revised schedule to do one of two things.

1. Put out a second show. I know, I know....I keep bringing this up, but without 12 hours per year of PPV goodness to look forward to and with long term booking being in high emphasis, now would be a good time for this to happen. Fewer last minute matches on PPV cards, more matches on a weekly basis. Win-win.

2. Run a two hour show on a Sunday night in the middle of the month that would serve as a PPV slot. Putting on a special edition show once per quarter that ISN'T a PPV show could cut the cost a bit and, since the terms of their Spike agreement gives that kind of leeway, it would make sense as a logical and sensible way of cutting costs.

So what does the cutting of PPVs mean for TNA as a wrestling entity? Well, if you look at the downturn of WWE's product, it would be just as critical a question to ask them as well, but things are as they are and since the question is directed in TNA's direction, I will say this.....in 1993, Eric Bischoff gave WCW an overhaul. By cutting costs everywhere that wasn't necessary, the company began to turn from the dismal product that was suffering some pretty tough financial losses. Two years later, WCW turned a product for the first time in their history. By utilizing some of that frugal know-how and collaborations amongst some of the business' most successful minds, TNA is more likely to turn around with a vengeance, boasting larger numbers in their first upswing year since the regime came in.

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