As previously noted, Ed Nordholm, the Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports and Entertainment and Impact Wrestling, sat down for a lengthy VIP discussion recently, which Wrestling Inc. was on hand for. Nordholm took the time to discuss Impact Wrestling’s desire to broadcast their content as broadly as possible, as well as whether or not they’ll be staying at the 10 PM time slot moving forward with the Pursuit Channel. Nordholm also went in to detail regarding Anthem’s eventual sole ownership of Impact Wrestling.
Impact Wrestling and Twitch recently partnered up to stream a simulcast every Friday night at 10 PM as Impact airs on Pursuit. Nordholm explained that, since Anthem has total control of the network and the company, their intent is to guarantee Impact is being accessed from as many homes as possible.
“One of the advantages of moving to a channel that’s within our own family is that we have a lot of flexibility on what we can do and where we can broadcast,” Nordholm said. “It’s our platform, our distribution, the conventional broadcaster, obviously, would be interested in ensuring that they have exclusivity. From an Anthem world, we obviously want out content on our own platform. but we also are quite liberal in how we approach ensuring that our content gets seen as broadly as possible.”
Nordholm then explained why he believes a Friday night, 10 PM time slot may be advantageous for Impact Wrestling, mentioning how the lead-in programming will hopefully garner the audience they’re aiming for.
“Well Pursuit is sorta testing the blind spot that works,” Nordholm explained. “Friday night, they’ve got interesting programming as lead-in programming for us, it’s late on Friday night and we’re shooting for guys so it looks like a great place to play even though it might have historically not been an ideal time spot.”
Following the recent shift to a 10 PM time slot on the POP channel, and then the aforementioned transition to the Pursuit channel, Nordholm explained how he and Anthem have been taking everything week by week, and that their primary focus is to begin reestablishing their reputation and financial stability. Nordholm told the audience in the discussion that he would be thrilled to do weekly, live broadcasts of Impact Wrestling and add more PPV’s to the mix, however, that’s not currently possible with their finances.
“This has been very much a week by week, quarter by quarter exercise for us in reestablishing our platform, our financial stability our credibility as a brand,” Nordholm said. “And that’s what we’re focused on right now. For sure the nirvana would be to go live every week, in the financial reality of things that is a long way away. But at all times, we’re looking for opportunities to bring more live content more frequently.
“Well have four PPV events for this year,” Nordholm continued. “And that, at the moment, seems to be the likely cycle, the natural rhythm 13 weeks of TV and then wrap it up with a PPV.”
Impact went through a well-documented restructuring in early 2017, with Anthem taking 85% ownership of Impact Wrestling, Aroluxe taking 10%, and Dixie Carter, resigning as Impact’s chairwoman after 14 years in charge, maintained only 5% ownership. That’s when Ed Nordholm took the helm and he has since been in charge of steering Impact Wrestling.
Nordholm expound a bit more on the ownership situation, saying that their initial intention was to buy a small stake in Impact Wrestling so that they could guarantee the rights for Impact Wrestling content was secure on their Fight Network. Years later, and with a much different result, Anthem is nevertheless pleased with where he’s at. Nordholm said that Impact is globally their strongest asset on the Fight Network.
“It was originally a strategic idea to have a small but significant stake in the company to ensure that we had some rights to have content available to us on Fight Network, as we went international,” Nordholm said. “That’s where it started, the story is well told about 2016 and how that spiraled out quickly.
“From our perspective, it’s way more than we first imagined that we would do when we first decided we wanted a seat at the table,” Nordholm explained. “We now own the table and everything around it but it is still from that fundamental purpose, even more so, our fundamental reason to be in this business remains and [Impact] is still our strongest, most core asset in content wherever we take the fight network around the globe.”
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