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TNA, Spike Close to a Deal

Spike TV last week continued negotiations to pin down the Total Non-Stop Wrestling outfit, which now evidently includes National Football League player and wrestler Adam “Pacman” Jones, for a new season.

The current TNA deal — which includes distribution of the company's one-hour TNA Impact! weekly wrestling event series — expires in September, according to sources close to the network. The new deal could include an expansion of the Thursday-night primetime series to two hours, as well as some other live-event programming.

Spike TV officials confirmed the ongoing negotiations with TNA, but would not comment further.

Spike began airing TNA content in 2005, after it lost World Wrestling Entertainment programming to USA Network. While TNA does not draw nearly the 4.6 million viewers as the WWE averaged in its last year on Spike, the show has performed reasonably well for the male-targeted service.

TNA Impact! averaged 1.3 million viewers and a 1.1 household rating over 36 weeks of Thursday-night shows, according to Spike officials.

Those numbers may get a boost soon from the presence of controversial Tennessee Titans cornerback “Pacman” Jones. TNA said early last week that Jones was scheduled to appear on TNT Impact! last Thursday (Aug. 9), although it's unclear how frequent his presence will be on the series.

Also unclear is whether Jones, who is serving a year-long NFL suspension for several off-the-field conduct violations, will actually perform in the wrestling ring.

TNA executives could not be reached for comment on the Spike negotiations or the addition of Jones.

In other Spike TV news, the network's original series The Kill Point continues to hold its own on the ratings front. The third installment of the series, which revolves around a bank heist and stars John Leguizamo and Mark Wahlberg, matched its second week tally of 1.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The July 22 two-hour premiere episode drew 2.0 million viewers.