In a first for both India and IMPACT Wrestling (earlier called TNA Wrestling), the professional wrestling organisation will, in association with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), produce the North American-based wrestling promotion show in India. Four special episodes of the sport will be shot at Mumbai's Film City this week and be distributed across the globe.
Jeff Jarrett, Chief Creative Officer, IMPACT Wrestling says, "India is among our top markets in terms of consumption. We are the ninth largest sports channel on YouTube and after the US, our biggest audience comes from India. As a result, our focus on the market is very sharp. In terms of the ex-North American markets, UK and India are right up there. Perhaps our biggest chunk of investment would also be in India (ex-North America)."
|IMPACT Wrestling Indian show on Sony Six Timing, Latest News
While last year the organisation got some of its talent to India for a one-off live event, this year, it will be shooting the episodes with known names like Mahabali Shera, Sonjay Dutt, Alberto El Patron, Bobby Lashley, James Storm, Ethan Carter III, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, and Low Ki facing off in a the especially-built wrestling arena at Film City.
Rajesh Kaul, President, Sports and Distribution, SPN adds, "The partnership of the sports cluster of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and IMPACT Wresting to produce localized content in India is a landmark step from the Indian perspective as the episodes will be distributed internationally. It has always been our endeavour not only to showcase some of the best international content but also bring prime international properties like IMPACT Wrestling closer to the Indian fans.
Jarrett adds that not only will IMPACT produce content out of India, it is also working closely to start a talent scouting programme in India. "Wrestling has always been popular in India. We have always seen huge traction in the country. However, this has increased significantly since the inclusion of Indian talent to our roster of wrestlers and we feel India has immense scope to produce some world class wrestlers. We are working with The Great Khali and his training institute to scout and train wrestling talent from India," he says. IMPACT has similar programmes in operation in markets like UK, South Africa and Japan.
Ed Nordholm, President, IMPACT Wrestling, "We are excited to make history as we embark on a tour of India, marking the first time an international professional wrestling organization has staged television tapings in this massive market. The reception in India has been overwhelmingly positive and we're thrilled with the tremendous local support from Sony Pictures Networks India. Our hope is that this will be the first of many tours in India, a passionate market that has supported the IMPACT Wrestling brand for many years."
SPN's proposition is to ensure the visit of IMPACT Wrestling talent engage and entertain their fans in India and across the globe. To capture the attention, the broadcaster is encouraging the stars of IMPACT Wrestling to share their videos with fans while travelling to India. The stars of IMPACT Wrestling will also be experiencing local food and cultural activities. Select Indian fans will get a chance to mingle with some of their favourite wrestling Superstars. Other than the four IMPACT episodes from Mumbai, there will be specific India-centric storylines featured in each show.