As noted, Wrestling Inc.'s Akhilesh Gannavarapu recently interviewed TNA President Dixie Carter during her recent visit to India. In the second and final part of the interview below, Carter discussed her take on TNA's partnership with Pop TV, if Pop has a say in the delivery of the product, the concern about TNA talent being injured on the indys and more.
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TNA signed a deal with Pop TV and started airing shows since the beginning of the year. How has your relationship been with Pop TV? We keep hearing about numbers, but since your move to the Network, what is your take on the partnership so far?
"They've been fantastic to deal with. Their enthusiasm for the product, their support of us; it's a growing network itself, but it has 85 million homes (reach), so more and more people are finding it every week, and we're a big part of the reason for people finding them and people coming to them.
"[Pop TV President] Brad Schwartz has been nothing but fantastic to us, and I believe that if you talk about numbers and ratings, people don't realize that the overnight numbers mean nothing in the world of television anymore. We talked about where things have come in this industry since we started in 2002, but it's the biggest thing since Nielson based overnight viewing in the United States and around the world. The way viewing is captured is a very flawed system. The overnight numbers are not even counted anymore, as it relates to advertising sales and the success of the show.
"The great thing about our show is we have great +3 and +7 numbers, and what it means is the DVR viewing, which was again nowhere five years ago and today, it has become a big part of how people watch TV. Our numbers continue to grow 20 – 30 – 40% depending upon the week, which each week is the late viewing."
Pop TV's President Brad Schwartz recently gave an interview where he talked about the multi–year deal signed between TNA and the Network. Does Pop have a say in the delivery of the product?
"No, they're not involved in the creative part of it. You know, I didn't even know that Brad – he's tired of all the negative comments out there that are just incorrect. I was on a plane to India and he decided to give an interview, which I think is fantastic, and it just shows the kind of person he is. He's been a great leader, and a wonderful partner to us. I think that Pop has been very helpful, and I think that we're going to have a great future with them."
You let the wrestlers perform for independent promotions which do not have TV deals. With injuries being a part and parcel of the business, isn't there a concern that someone involved in a high profile feud might get injured while performing for the independent promotions?
"I think there's always a concern that somebody is going to get injured. I think our roster is incredibly talented, and protect themselves to the best of their abilities. I don't believe that it's possible to stay injury free; I think that it's just a dangerous sport. I think people who don't believe that wrestling is incredibly difficult and challenging and is truly athletic at its highest level, they're wrong.
"There's always a chance of getting hurt, and it is a concern. It's challenging; I believe The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) were on a huge run, and on the very last match of our UK tour, Davey Richards hurt his knee, and he was going to be out for 6 months. And so what we had to do was rewrite where they were going, and Eddie played a vital part, which is even more challenging when you have another person involved as a tag team. So, Eddie has had a fantastic run partnering with other people and also as a singles wrestler during this time, but you just have to – it's real life, and we have to handle the injury in a real way, and deliver an honest storyline possible with what we're dealing."
TNA has collaborated with multiple international promotions in the past. In your opinion, what have been the differences in the markets as well as the fan base between US and Japan or the United Kingdom?
"Well, I think that there are incredible wrestling fans everywhere. The United Kingdom has been a huge market for us. You know, they have arguably led our success, even in terms of United States in many ways, and the things we've been able to accomplish there. Different markets are obviously different (from each other), and Japan right now has a tremendous wrestling scene. I think even the independent British wrestling is more active than it's ever been, and I personally believe that you're about to see the Indian wrestling world explode as well."
Rumors about superstars joining the TNA roster:
"I think we're talking to several major stars. I think in the last few months – the one thing I'm very proud about the past couple of years is that we have the greatest roster in the world. In the last few years, we've grown more new talent that we had in the past 12 years. I think that's been a concerted effort; I think that's something we've worked very hard on and something I'm very proud of. But there are some great talent that we're talking to, and I think in the past few months, we've launched several new talents that we're going to make stars in the next few years."
Click here for part one of the interview, where Carter discussed investing in TNA, TNA's growth worldwide, if wrestlers should have an off-season, the Knockouts division and more.