ESS bids to take on WWE with TNA Wrestling

MUMBAI: Looks like World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on Ten Sports is finally going to have some serious competition. ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has announced that it is expanding its relationship with TNA Wrestling.


ESS today announced that it has entered into a three year deal with TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Entertainment to broadcast all TNA Wrestling programs on its channels in India and the rest of Asia. ESS will showcase the TNA shows - TNA Impact, TNA Xplosion and a special weekly programme from the archives of TNA Wrestling. In addition Star Sports will also feature a Monthly Special. This airs as a Pay Per View special in the US.

Currently TNA Wrestling airs in a one hour slot on Star World on Saturday at 8 pm.

This move should come as no surprise. Ratings data indicate that in the sports genre scripted wrestling is the most popular programme after India cricket. The TNA Monthly Specials kick off with Lockdown and will be followed with one special every month. Monthly Specials have innovative battle formats like a caged fight, an iron rod fight.

Speaking on the development ESS India MD R C Venkateish said, "Viewer interest in professional wrestling has been on the rise in India. Some of the big names from the world of professional wrestling have ardent fan following in the country. Our understanding of the viewers in India has lead us to believe that the viewers have a hunger for more and more of professional wrestling.



"TNA Wrestling is a leading wrestling property and is popular the world over. With big names and a very innovative format, it is bound to catch the viewers' imagination. TNA will also be an attraction because it features an Indian wrestler too in Sonjay Dutt (not to be confused with Bollywood bad boy Sunjay Dutt). We plan to market and build the popularity of TNA wrestling across the country.

"The action and wrestling genre is attracting viewer interest. Our acquisition on action properties will continue and we will not stop at TNA and will continue to consolidate this aspect of programming on our channels. We are looking at developing a comprehensive and entertaining professional wrestling package on our networks."

TNA Impact features the innovative six-sided ring, giving many more angles to the wrestler to catapult and attack his opponent. TNA Impact is fought for three titles: the NWA World Heavyweight Championship; the NWA World Tag Team Championship and the TNA X-Division Championship - a 'high risk moves championship' where mostly light weight wrestlers battle it out, though there is no upper weight limit on the X Division title.

TNA Xplosion is TNA's one-hour weekly show featuring exclusive matches, interviews, news and rumors from TNA. In addition to footage from Impact, Xplosion features exclusive interviews with TNA superstars. Xplosion is a complete guide to everything happening in and out of the six-sided ring (TNA Impact). It also gives all the up-to-date lineups on the upcoming TNA Monthly Specials.

TNA wrestlers include the 'King of The Mountain' Jeff Jarrett, The 'Fallen Angel' Christopher Daniels - TNA X-Division Champion Titleholder since March, Jeff Hardy, Raven, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman and DDP.

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