TNA Global expansion???
by, 06-29-2012 at 04:43 AM (4171 Views)
Hey grapple fans it’s the Great Blueski again... this blog is about the thoughts I had for the evolution of TNA. Now bear with me because I started this blog a few weeks if not a month and a half ago and abandoned it cos I had some boxing ish to talk about elsewhere on the web (it's been a funny few months in the boxing world wrestling fans... Pac Man was screwed worse than the Rock at Wrestlemania 17 man!!!! Sorry back to wrestling) Obviously in that amount of time the wrestling world has moved on quite a bit already and I personally think the future for TNA looks really bright at the moment. I’m liking a lot of what they’re doing. Not all... but most. And it hasn’t been that way for me with TNA for about five years now where the positives far outweighed the negatives... but anyway here we go.
TNA needs to get out of the Impact Zone. Staying in the Sportatorium (is that how you spell it grapple fans I’m not sure) cost the Von Erichs big time and allowed Vince to steal their thunder. If WCCW had gone where their television was showing and was breaking viewing records around the States and the World at that time then wrestling today would have been an entirely different business. The WCCW would have been the number one company in the 80’s and into the 90’s and if they had assembled the stars Vince had with the drawing power of being the biggest dog and the biggest payday... hell right now the WWF could just be a dead company who’s back catalogue is owned by one of Fritz’s boys. If only Fritz had moved with the times, man. Not that I want to see the ‘E gone... but what a company WCCW could have been. Similarly at the moment the Impact Zone is holding TNA back. It’s stopping the natural evolution of the company.
Now I know for TNA to step outside the Impact Zone in the States would be throwing money down a hole at this point. The live gates they are drawing aren’t big enough to justify the increased production costs at least that's my understanding looking at it logically. Especially as the TV numbers don’t seem to fluctuate much from the loyal TNA fanbase. So they need to be in live venues for their TV but to cover the costs of the increased production they need more income. And because they're not increasing the rating they're not making Spike an increase in advertising revenue for their timeslot so aren't getting going to make up the cash that way. Hmmm. So really after scratching my noggin for a while and pondering this (at my job so it was on the man’s time lol) I came up with an idea. As its 4:20 again I figured I’d share it with you fellow ‘hardcore grapple fans’.
TNA needs to think outside the box and if it wants to experience real growth as a company should think outside the United States. The success of Ring Ka King hopefully will have opened up management’s eyes in a big way of what possibilities exist outside of the States.
India is a BRIC country, it is arguably the strongest growing economy in the world and it has a thriving young population. Growing economy plus young population equals disposable income. That is why India is a huge market for Western companies in every industry and wrestling is no different. WWE has been doing good business there for a number of years from merchandise to live tours and the staple television income. WWE has considered increasing their market presence there as other, outside of wrestling, companies are doing but cooled on the idea and put it on the back burner as they did with all their regional developmental programs. This gave someone else and ultimately TNA an opportunity. And boy did they take it. To give the Indian people their own product the suits at TNA and their partners at the Colors Network scored big. At least it appears they did to me.
On a side note, I do wonder how the money is broke down between Colors and TNA because watching Impact and watching Ring Ka King they seem a couple of miles apart in production quality. It looks like a bit more money is being spent on the Colors product and I wonder who put this money up. If it was the network then the network would be recouping before any money was divided up so it might not be as lucrative for TNA as first appears. Hell for all I know TNA could have just been paid a flat sum to make the program. Similarly I don’t know if Ring Ka King is doing much by way of merchandising, if it isn’t it should be.
For the Indian bloggers on here I’d love to see a blog on how you see Ring Ka King and what the reaction to it has been over there. Give us the breakdown on what is hot with it and what is not. I wish Colors would do an English subtitle version!!!! But after sitting through years of Japanese and Luchador tapes I’m used to not understanding a thing but what’s going on in the ring so I’ll persevere. Sometimes wrestling works better that way anyway. Can anyone remember the golden days when a commentary team would go silent for a few moments sometimes even for a whole minute, shock horror, lost in the match (not just because a producer was barking in their ear telling them to shill this or that)? I miss those days, folks.
Now TNA has had some success outside of the States with a side project perhaps it time for TNA to take Impact international part or full time. The economic hardships in the West has left the wrestling companies with a limited amount of disposable income to chase. And let’s face it folks the ‘E has that money locked tight and while it has been a sleeping giant for a while I feel like the product is really close to waking up again. Good times for a pro wrestling fan... bad times for the number two company who needs to expand to stay in business.
Each TNA international tour the company does good business and it looks like this is increasing. The fundamentals of any business... any business... is making money. Even if it takes you outside your known business model you must adapt or you will fail. Wrestling is no different. If your in-ring product has to adapt with the times then so does your company. Basically you’ve got to go where the money is.
The people who tune into TNA are quite sophisticated wrestling fans in my experience. They don’t just watch TNA they’re smart about the industry as a whole in and outside of the States. I don’t think the viewers that are watching on Spike every week (the same fans who bought international episodes of Impact on dvd in decent numbers too I might add) will stop watching if Impact is coming from say London, Mumbai, Munich, Rio, Moscow or Beijing rather than the same old boring Impact Zone. In fact I think if the casual wrestling fan tuned into Impact and saw it coming from an international location with a larger and a vibrant crowd they’d be more likely to take an interest. Hell, TNA could become the first true WORLD wrestling company!!! It’s where the money is.
I wish I could talk to Dixie Carter sometimes (hey don’t we all... MILF!!!... lol) no but seriously I’d say to her what I wrote above and to try and then say:
Dixie, what you need to understand is this is bigger than wrestling this is about economics on the whole. The world is changing and things are getting tighter in the States as they are all over. The cold fact of it is... in the States right now you’re chasing a shrinking market. A market dominated by a giant with plans on expansion. It’s a losing battle in the current and coming economic climates. You can’t keep trying to play the giant at its own game trying to use a similar business model. The money in wrestling, the REAL money, is not TV it’s what you’re pulling in the house shows every night of the week, baby. That’s how rock stars get rich, you know this Dixie you were in the music business. The money, the REAL money, isn’t made on TV and it isn’t made in the studio... the REAL money is made on tour, by packing houses every night.
But that said the economy is shrinking and even the ‘E is going to take a hit on the live gates front. TNA’s live business domestically, what it has, could be obliterated. No more disposable income you see, or a great deal less of it anyway. That’s the reason that Vince wants to get his network up and running. If his primary source of income is threatened or compromised Vince is smart enough to increase his other incomes. See this is why Vince is a genius. I’ll explain. He knows when the jobs are going down the pan or when there’s fewer well paying jobs, wrestling shows won’t be drawing large crowds. When people have less money they stay home in front of the idiot box a lot more.
Now the network will probably cost you for a year what a decent ticket to a live show would for one night. A lot of fans can find that money for a year of entertainment in tough times but they won’t blow it for a night. And if we’re going to be in the house a lot more anyway... why not right? Sure I’ll pay for the network. They’ve got good business sense in New York that’s why they’re where they are. Over the years there’s been a man or three who could match and better Vince’s in ring product but his business savvy? No one’s come close.
But Dixie, you have no way of increasing your TV revenue like Vinny Mac does. In your current business model the future is bleak. As Vince increases his programming he’ll be tempting more of your talent away. Hulk Hogan will eventually go back to Vince once the Network is up and running. If I was Vince I’d pull him in and Ric Flair (once the lawsuit is settled and all and if Ric can stop getting in fights with her indoors lol). He’s got hours of programming to fill. I could think of numerous projects for both from presenting to reality TV types of programming. How about NXT having a season like the Ultimate Fighter with two teams... Team Hogan VS Team Flair. If I’ve got hours of programming to fill on a network I’ll give that one a tick. If the rumoured WWE Cruiserweight show is true then we could see Vince clean TNA out. The X Division could be decimated. If I wanted talent for a cruiserweight based show I’d want half of TNA’s talent and a lot of ROH’s too. But that’s starting already, hey?
So yeah that’s what I’d say to her. Note the way I called her baby at one point. Oh yeah, the Great Blueski is a smooth operator, folks And then I’d wink at her and give her my demo and my card and then make like a tree and get out.
Seriously if Dixie was reading this really I’d challenge her to do a month of TV from the UK and a month long tour at the same time in the UK and surrounding markets. This is a baby step as the UK and on a live front Europe is ready to go. I could make an argument for TNA just moving to the UK as a base but that’s a whole other rant. I know Dixie isn’t keen on this because she sees the UK as an oversaturated market but she’s wrong. Her numbers aren’t telling her the whole story.
UK folks are fiercely proud and loyal and if you treat them with respect and gain good standing with them they’ll stay with you through thick and thin. Look at how die hard they can be with their football teams (yes football they're not too keen on the name soccer). Being an underdog you have a huge opportunity over there because they love nothing more than an underdog. Cats in the UK will drink Pepsi over Coke even though they prefer Coke but just because they think Coke is too big for it’s boots. UK people am I right?
If you go to these people and take your TV full or part time and say to them we’re your company as much as our fans in the States, we respect you as much as we do our own fans back home let’s rock n roll... watch the rocket lit under your company. Vince's UK money has kept him going many a times when the homefront was lean make no mistake about it. I'm telling you Vinny Mac has thought about doing business over in the UK on an increased basis many times and I think it's a mistake he's held back. He doesn't make that many so you better start taking advantage when he does. Go there for a month. Afterwards UK come home for a month and see if it was a disaster. If it was forget about it and stay doing what you're doing and throw my card in the trashcan. If your TV numbers stayed the same or maybe even increased slightly look to go a little further.
Look at the BRIC countries first. Brazil Russia India and China, the new and growing economic powerhouses in the world. Do a month of TV in the US and follow it with a month long tour in Brazil shooting a month of Impact while there (hell you can tour surrounding countries too while you’re there just keep the TV in the biggest venue in the host country). Repeat the process with Russia, India (you’re ready to go in India) and China. Build partnerships with companies in each territory as you go, wrestling companies and media outlets. Go see if the Great Blueski knows what he’s talking about. I’m telling you your TV won’t drop off at all on Spike, like I say you might even do better numbers and you’ll make some REAL money on the road at the same time.
And to sum it up in the States TNA has a stigma of being number two and of being small time. You want to make money, you need to make money then you have to make a change. The way I see it if you stay the same and just rely on better booking being able to make you competitive then you have no idea what is going on financially in the wider world. Better booking won’t make you money in a collapsing/collapsed/newly recovering economy. If WWE has a Network and they run something hot against you every week and against every replay what then? If the wrestling fan has already put money down on Vince’s product who are they going to tune into? You’re then on the ropes waiting for the shot that’s going to end you. This is bigger than booking. This is about companies evolving or companies dying. Not just wrestling companies. You need to go where the money is.
Hell, even Shane O Mac is out there making money with the Chinese. Here comes the money!!!!
This was the Great Blueski blog and I know it went on and on about some boring financial crap but hey it’s 4:20 and I’m just sharing my thoughts. If you liked it let me know and share your thoughts below. You think my idea would work??? or do flaws in there lurk????... is the Great Blueski talking crap or is you feeling my rap???? Holla holla holla. Oh look at that I’m stealing Teddy Long’s lines now... talk about kicking a brother when he’s down. What can I say tho folks... heel isn’t a choice it’s the way your born lol.
On a side note I read on here in the last couple of days that TNA are going to do a project similar to Ring Ka King in Argentina. Kudos on expanding your horizons but Argentina is going through some tough economics at the moment and it could get a lot worse very quickly so be careful in that market TNA. Also the Brits and the Argentines might have another ruckus over the Falklands/Maldives yet... be very careful you could be stepping into a warzone.
Till next time