For the past couple of years, TNA has been presenting their marquee Pay Per View, “Bound For Glory”, at local movie theaters as an option for fans to witness the live pay per view, giving us TNA Theater.
This method of viewing tips its hat to the old school option of the World Wrestling Federation presenting their products on Closed Circuit Television. The first few Wrestlemanias satisfied this. TNA decided to adapt this idea as well for their biggest show of the year; however, what once worked in 1985 doesn’t necessarily reflect the same in 2012.
Last Sunday, TNA presented Bound For Glory at 100 movie theaters across the country. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that the attendance for theaters that showed last Sunday’s TNA Bound for Glory, were said to be “disastrous”. In 100 theaters nationwide, there was said to be a combined 500 & 1000 people, with on average of around 3 to 8 people per theater.
Normally, the response from fans has been pretty positive when they attend the theater shows for TNA ppvs. Depending on the location, there are times when the theater management may bring some type of flair and entertainment for being there live. TNA provides the participating theaters with merchandise to GIVE to the viewers of the show. But why is this not working?
The difference between 1985 and 2012 is that information is spread almost at an instant notice. This doesn’t just harm the TNA live theater experience, but this has to take a toll on PPV viewership all together. Results (and sometimes video) to matches are instantly posted on the internet, as opposed to before, when you had to have bought the show in order to know what happened.
When you research and look at PPV numbers, compare Royal Rumble and Summer Slams ppv buy rates from the late 80’s early 90’s to today; those numbers are a night and day difference.
I think another reason for this has a lot to do with the fact that these theaters are not in metropolitan areas. And this is not a jab at people who live in the more rural areas where these theaters participate, but the numbers would be bigger if you saw this available in Chicago, New York, LA, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Atlanta. Not the outskirts. And trust me, I understand that there is a world of difference regarding rental costs of theaters and to do this in a city such as Chicago would be very high, but take into consideration the still existing mom-and-pop theaters in these big cities. I’m sure they would be more than accommodating to TNA.
Not too sure if TNA will give up on this idea, because its not a bad idea. For a discounted rate, to be able to have the option for you and a buddy of yours to go see a wrestling PPV and have theater snacks and to be out and about is something desired. But in order for this to work, you may have to spend a little more, to make a little more. Simple business.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer For Rant Sports