I've been asked more questions about this subject than about any other in the past few months.....
"Is it true that the Carters are looking to sell TNA Wrestling?"
Some people close to the situation tell me the answer is "Conditionally, yes."
"Conditionally?" you say. Yes, conditionally. This means that the OPTION of the acceptance of offers is only open to a select group of investors and no one else. SO, sorry Vince, you are NOT on that list of potential buyers. It's been stated that the Carter family do NOT want to open the bid to Vince McMahon as they believe steadfastly that competition in the wrestling market is healthy for the business as a whole and to that end, Vince isn't on the list.
Now before I hear any "I told you so's" or anything to that tune, some of the stress came from the rising costs TNA was bleeding out from the traveling schedule. Combine that with the MASSIVE cost Hulk Hogan demanded as well as Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey as producers. With those costs now being offset and the show traveling back to the Impact Zone, some of the timeline stresses are moving off. I have been saying that marketing has been the biggest problem for TNA for YEARS. Brand visibility and reputation has been TNA's achilles heel since they made the jump from weekly PPV to Spike TV and the ONLY chance TNA has of reaching the masses is to put a product out that people KNOW exists.
Let me also remind you all that ALL of this stuff is speculative and dependent upon a multitude of factors outside my scope, at the moment. If the Carter family WERE to actually sell the company, which again is not yet fully confirmed, the list of potential buyers has been set by the Carters and wouldn't happen if those who bought the show had intentions of letting it simply fade. That list is of wrestling minded investors and television people who could cross brand and actually give TNA a fighting chance at striking while the iron's hot. That could mean Spike TV officials, it could mean representatives from Sinclair, who now own rights to Ring of Honor. The point is, it's not going to be made public knowledge that the company is for sale and if that sale goes through, as a proviso to the deal, TNA will move forward. The contract TNA Wrestling is under with Spike TV lasts until 2015, so even if a sale occurs, unless the contract is broken, incurring a hefty penalty, we'll see TNA on Spike for some time.
As far as a parallel goes to WCW, the best example I can give is the sale of Jim Crockett Promotions to Ted Turner that CREATED WCW. If anything, TNA is in a BETTER position to succeed under a new group of business minded investors who have a more solid financial backing to front the start-up capital to kick into marketing and brand visibility.
So is it all true? If the research I've done and the people I've chatted with is any indication, MAYBE. I can say for sure that the next few months will solve a LOT of financial problems now that Eric Bischoff will be off payroll come January 1. There IS a name I intentionally left off this column up until now......Jeff Jarrett. What does Jeff Jarrett have to say about all of this? Jeff, as I understand it, is in the unique position of scouting buyers and selling the virtues of the brand. As a number 2 brand, and a strong one at that, TNA is in an interesting place in terms of how it looks in the brands available on the wrestling marketplace. The strong numbers as well as huge draws in the UK make TNA a sound business investment, provided it can be grown domestically as well. In any case, Jeff Jarrett, the founder of the brand, is determined to see the sale through IF it does, indeed, take place at all.
I want to draw attention to the FACT that TNA's sale is NOT confirmed, nor can it be verified until the Carter family name is no longer attached to it. SO, just as every rumor I post here is not confirmed until the debut or return is made, TNA being for sale is the same way.......UNCONFIRMED.