Jeff Jarrett Discusses the Truth Behind the Profitability of TNA PPVs

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On a recent edition of his “My World” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett discussed the narrative that TNA pay-per-view events were never profitable.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On his first impression of Madison Rayne: “I could remember Vince [Russo] and — mainly Vince, but others in the creative room — wanting to add to the Beautiful People. If you will, they wanted to, ‘Hey, let’s get them a manager; let’s get them a third.’ And I was like, ‘Do we need to go down that route, just because they’re a property that’s clicking and working.’ And I saw both sides of it. And I’m not sure exactly who brought Madison to the table. But when she was brought into the package, yeah I could kind of see the vision that was going on. And I said, ‘Okay, it’ll work.’ Because then, the group became a little bit bigger, and I’ll won’t say diverse, but it just kind of fit into the shtick, if you will. A group of three was a notch up from just the tag team.”

On the narrative that TNA never made money with its PPVs on the road: “You got fired up, which kind of got me fired up. Because yeah, the whole narrative is just completely ridiculous, but we made a calculated decision. ‘Let’s try a few pay-per-views on the road.’ Okay, we did. And then they wanted to try a few more, because there was an internal discussion. ‘Hey, it does look better. It is growing the brand.’ There was probably somebody on a mid-level at Spike that would say, ‘Hey, that looks really good,’ this and that. Well, there came a time when — again, I’m going to go back to Panda, Dallas, Bob Carter at the very top of that food chain that look took a hard look. And they were much more in tune with WWE numbers than I ever was during this timeframe. And you got to remember Conrad, March of 2009… during ’08 and ’09, I’ll just say — yes, it’s common knowledge within the inner circle, I was running hard both ways. Family, partying, and business. It was where my life was. So the outside world and the housing collapse and all of that stuff. I was numb to. Knowing the WWE numbers on a peripheral, just because they’re the competition. But really digging into their live event business, and looking at it, Panda having comparables on as much as we could gather. And then of course we looked at PPV year over year. ‘Okay, this year we’re in South Carolina, we’re in Dallas.’ Wherever we took our show on the road, and so you take a P&L [profit & loss] from that event, and then take one from the Impact Zone — Conrad, when I tell you it’s not even remotely close? It’s not even remotely close. Because it did not increase buys. And there were some shows — I’m sure, I don’t have any specifics, that the buys may be a little down.

“So not only did it not affect the buys, it just massively threw our expenses way up because of the fixed cost of the studio. And when we compared it to what WWE was doing on their PPV, TVs, and then non-televised. They would break it out. It became very clear, that’s just a vanity project to go pursue, putting something on the road. In a one-off here and there, and I think we always said, ‘Hey, let’s try to do Slammiversary and Bound for Glory every year on the road, and maybe just Bound for Glory.’ But we knew the brand wasn’t ready for that.”

In a recent episode of his podcast “My World,” WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett addressed the common belief that TNA (Total Nonstop Action) pay-per-view events were never profitable. Jarrett provided insights into the decision-making process behind taking TNA events on the road and explained why it ultimately did not yield the desired results.

Jarrett began by discussing his first impression of Madison Rayne, a professional wrestler who was added to the Beautiful People faction in TNA. He mentioned that there were discussions within the creative team about expanding the group, but he questioned whether it was necessary. However, he acknowledged that adding Madison Rayne worked well for the group and enhanced their overall dynamic.

Moving on to the topic of TNA’s profitability, Jarrett debunked the narrative that the company never made money with its pay-per-view events on the road. He revealed that there was a calculated decision to try a few pay-per-views outside of the Impact Zone (TNA’s home base) to grow the brand. The initial response was positive, and it seemed like taking the shows on the road was beneficial for TNA.

However, Jarrett explained that the decision was reevaluated when the top executives at Panda Energy (the parent company of TNA) analyzed the numbers. They compared TNA’s pay-per-view revenue and expenses from events on the road with those held in the Impact Zone. The results were starkly different. The shows on the road did not significantly increase pay-per-view buys, but they significantly increased expenses due to the fixed costs associated with operating in a different location.

Jarrett emphasized that when compared to WWE’s pay-per-view business model, TNA’s venture into taking events on the road seemed more like a vanity project rather than a profitable endeavor. WWE had separate revenue streams from pay-per-views, televised events, and non-televised events, which allowed for better financial outcomes. TNA, on the other hand, was not ready for such a model due to its lower brand recognition and fan base.

In conclusion, Jeff Jarrett’s insights shed light on the misconception that TNA pay-per-view events were never profitable. While the decision to take events on the road initially seemed promising, a thorough analysis of the numbers revealed that it did not significantly impact pay-per-view buys and instead increased expenses. This realization led to the understanding that TNA’s brand was not yet ready for such endeavors.