Source: Miami Herald
Pop President Brad Schwartz spoke to Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald for a second part of their interview about Pop bringing on TNA. You can see highlights below, and the full story at this link.
"The easy answer is ratings, but for an emerging network like ourselves that's not the be-all, end-all. There's a business side to this. Just 12 months ago, when this show was on Spike, it averaged 1.3-million viewers every week for the entire year. That's two hours a week for 52 weeks it averaged 1.3-million viewers a week. That's not spin. That's Nielsen. We're in almost as many homes as Spike. So you would love to see us build it back up to those levels, and if you talk to [TNA President] Dixie [Carter], surpass those levels. Is that gonna happen in the first month? Is that gonna happen in the first quarter? Is that gonna happen in the second quarter? I think it will be a little bit of a build as we earn back the fans who might not have been able to watch it, because they didn't get it anymore; they didn't have that channel."
Why Pop signed TNA:
"The other thing that I love about this type of content is it's not Netflixable. This isn't something you're going to watch on Netflix in two years. It's in the moment. It's appointment tune television. It's exciting, and you got to tune in every single week. That is rare in television today. So what's rare in television today is a show that does 1-million viewers. What's rare in television today is a show that you need to watch on your television set, and you need to watch it this week. Those are two very, very exciting things to us. As an emerging network — one of the fastest growing networks on television — press and social buzz and just being a part of a conversation, all of those things are data points which are important to us," Schwartz said. "More people talking about us, more people talking about the content we have on TV, more people watching. This partnership between us and [TNA] Impact Wrestling, our goal is to build it into a very, very big business and to have even more success than it's ever had."
Rumors of TNA being a time buy:
"I obviously saw a lot of those social comments, and it's a little insulting people would think that. We are a channel that's in over 85-million homes. We are a channel that is owned by CBS and Lionsgate. We all have extraordinarily large dreams of where we can take this channel. What I can guarantee you and promise you is that we would never whore out our prime-time to an infomercial. If we're going to put something in our prime-time, it's because it's an important piece of the puzzle that's going to build our entire business to be one of the top cable channels on television in the future. That's our dream. That's our goal. When you work for CBS and Lionsgate, winning is the only goal. Our dream is to be a Top 10 cable network, and we feel [TNA Impact Wrestling] is a piece that will get us there. It's certainly worked for USA."