Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Dixie Carter Reveals TNA Plans and Changes

Dixie Carter spoke with Sporting News about some of her plans and changes for TNA in 2015.

On increasing brand awareness with Destination America:
“I think you’ll see over the next couple of weeks what they’re planning on doing, the media that they’re planning on buying. They’re running commercials across all ten of their major networks, supporting it digitally, in print and radio, everything. It’s a smaller network that we’re on but we’ve never had that kind of massive exposure before. And that’s what we need. People will eventually find it. Some people don’t have Destination America and that’s going to be tougher for us because we are dealing with a smaller network but we’re part of such a big family that’s putting so many resources behind us. As we grow, Destination America … it’s just going to make that relationship that much more valuable.”

On Impact Wrestling moving to Friday nights:
“I think I’ll tell you in a few months if I like being on Friday nights. They presented us with a lot of research and felt very strongly about Friday nights being a potential for them. +3’s is how people look at ratings nowadays, it’s not overnight ratings. With your +3 numbers, you have a much bigger chance for your +3 number over a weekend versus only, like if we were staying on Wednesday, that would be Thursday, Friday and you would have part of Saturday. It’s just an overall strategy. They feel really strongly about it. Wrestling has been successful on Friday nights and is no longer there and so we’ll see how we’ll do.”

On the replays for Impact Wrestling:
“The great thing about the replay is we’re going to try and make it a much different show, a kind of director’s cut, a little bit like MTV, you know, with the popups they used to have on the show. It’s going to be really interesting. There’s going to be facts and commentary and interviews. Just a lot of things that we don’t have an opportunity to do in the main show so, hopefully, some people may want to watch it twice, some people will find us that way and hopefully turn into the premiere episode. I’m excited — the show is called “Unlocked” because that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to be unlocking a lot of things that people want to know. Wrestling has become so much that, they’re more interested in what people, who they are and what happens at their homes, is this contract negotiation going on and is there real trouble backstage with this person and is this person really pregnant. We’re going to give a lot of that information and I think that’s where the wrestling fan’s going.”

On signing and developing new talents:
“If you look at all the new talent we’ve brought in over the last 18 months. And not only have we brought them in but I think if you look at talent like an EC3 (Ethan Carter III) and a Rockstar Spud and how much Magnus has grown and a Bram … I could go down the list. Years and years ago, it was the Booby Roode’s and the James Storm’s and those guys who were new talent we were trying to break and those are our main events guys these days. They have come so far. You look at the kind of work Samoa Joe and Austin Aries and these guys are doing today, it makes me so proud. But I feel, in a very short period of time, we have brought up the best group of new talent that’s out there in the business today. And I feel we’ve not only introduced them but really establish them in a way that we’ve not been able to in the past. But we’ve put a lot of time and focus on it. “

On TNA's touring schedule:
“We’re on a new network and there are so many moving parts and pieces that we need to be focused on and I feel like if we can get the show where we need it to go, it will be time at that point to get back out and do some more live events. But then the live events need to have a different feel to them as well. We’ve played a lot of markets, we’ve played a lot of the same markets the last several years, and we felt it was time to give it a bit of a breather and let us focus on making the show the very best it can be. When we feel confident that we’re there — and that’s having success — then we’ll get back out on the road and hopefully that will be a whole other experience for people as well.”

On TNA returning to Universal Studios in Orlando:
“Yeah, it may be a different soundstage which I like because we can mix it up and make the change to make it look different. We’re talking with them now and I do envision that we’ll probably have some shows coming back from there. I want to be there at a time when the audiences are great and they’re full and there’s certain times of year that are much busier than others and we want to really time it so it’s perfect.”

On TNA doing live television:
“I think that where we want to go from a production and a feel standpoint from the show does not work going live. It does not allow us to do the kind of things that we’re going to want to do because there’s just a lot of post-production time involved in it. So, we’ll have to see. We can always go live and it can be a show like it will be this Wednesday and it’s going to great action and lots of surprises and just be an amazing show that you’re not going to want to miss but I think where we’re going to try to take the show is definitely going to take post-production time and we’re not going to be able to pull off all the bells and whistles we want if we try to go live.”

On making positive changes to the product:
“Well, it’s not as much as getting it right as it is, looking at it through fresh eyes. How can we make it better? People are watching television differently today than they were two years ago, eight years ago, fifteen years ago when the Monday Night Wars were going on. It’s a different formula. We want to get that point right. How can we take our show to another level? So that’s what we’re working on. And we want to make sure we’re doing it the right way and that it’s representative of what we do and we’re not losing what we do best and that’s great in-ring action.

We’re definitely going to be trying some things to transform the product some. So, it’s not that I haven’t been happy with things. I do feel like we’ve gotten back to working with younger talent, breaking younger talent. I feel like we’ve broken more younger talent in the last 12, 18 months than we have in maybe the last 5-6 years. And I think that’s critically important to growing a brand. I think using those talents in the right ways, the right stories, the right matchups with all the production things we want to try and pull the curtain back some, it’s a new recipe, it’s a new way of trying to cook up your favorite show.”