Earlier this week, news broke that Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Impact Wrestling‘s parent company, had acquired a majority stake in AXS TV, the cable channel that currently broadcasts WOW: Women of Wrestling and the American TV version of New Japan Pro Wrestling. As soon as that happened, we all knew that Impact would soon move to that channel, it was just a matter of when. Sure enough, the official announcement has now come, revealing that Impact will begin airing on AXS immediately after their Bound for Glory PPV, which happens on October 20th. They have yet to reveal when the weekly show will air, but surely AXS can do better than Impact’s current slot on Friday nights from 10pm to Midnight.
According to PWInsider, no decisions have been made regarding WOW and NJPW, the two other wrestling companies that currently have shows on Impact. However, the Denver office where NJPW was edited for its AXS broadcast has apparently been “gutted” by layoffs in the wake of the acquisition, so that may pose a problem. On the other hand, Impact obviously employs people with experience editing wrestling shows, so those tasks can probably be reassigned as needed. In any case, both NJPW and WOW are expected to air on AXS at least through the end of 2019. It’s worth noting as well that WOW and Impact share talent, including top star Tessa Blanchard, so they have an established cooperative relationship that may enable both shows to remain on the same channel going forward.
Here’s the full press release:
IMPACT Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and one of the world’s largest professional wrestling organizations, announced today it has entered into an agreement to broadcast its flagship weekly two-hour program IMPACT! nationally across the U.S. on AXS TV, a leading music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle channel in which Anthem Sports & Entertainment recently acquired a majority interest.
Immediately following IMPACT Wrestling’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year Bound For Glory, which takes place on Oct. 20 in the Chicago area, IMPACT! will begin airing weekly on AXS TV. The program will continue to simulcast globally on IMPACT Wrestling’s official Twitch channel.
“IMPACT Wrestling is a perfect fit for AXS TV’s slate of live sporting events and combat sports content,” said Ed Nordholm, Chief Corporate Officer of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and President of IMPACT Wrestling. “The newest addition to our growing portfolio of media assets, AXS TV’s audience perfectly aligns with our passionate IMPACT Wrestling fan base, and this move increases the reach for our weekly program with distribution in over 50 million homes. We could not ask for a better home and are excited by the opportunities to work with Mark Cuban and Anschutz Entertainment Group, our partners in AXS TV, to bolster IMPACT Wrestling’s presence in the market, as we continue to deliver action-packed and innovative weekly programming featuring some of the most athletic and gifted stars in the professional wrestling industry.”
Showcasing top professional wrestling stars such as IMPACT World Champion Brian Cage, plus Rob Van Dam, Rhino, Moose, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, Rich Swann, Michael Elgin, the high-flying X-Division and the Knockouts, including Gail Kim, Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, Tenille Dashwood, Rosemary, Madison Rayne and Su Yung, IMPACT! has been a leading destination for professional wrestling fans, televised globally in 120 countries since its inception in 2002, while growing its popularity and reach on YouTube, Twitch, Pluto and social media platforms.