UPDATE (2:00 PM ET): Eric Van Wagnen, executive producer and show runner of Lucha Underground, appeared on The Steve Austin Show Unleashed today and said the following about the future of Lucha Underground:
- El Rey wants Lucha Underground back for a 40 episode Season 2.
- The company wants to maintain a certain production quality which requires additional funding in addition to what El Rey provides.
- A combined effort between El Rey, Mark Burnett’s company, and the company’s investors is under way to find additional funding to support a second season.
- All options are on the table in terms of that additional revenue. Van Wagnen throws out examples like Netflix, iTunes, a secondary broadcast partner, DVD sales, Merchandising, etc.
- When funding is secured, a second season will be formally announced.
In our first real big piece of news on the future of Lucha Underground in some time, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observerreported this week that the promotion’s talent has been informed that a second season may begin taping in September, but that the promotion is facing real issues regarding its future viability.
The ideal scenario for Lucha Underground was to score a better TV deal in Mexico, and a new Spanish language deal with Univision in the United States, and use that revenue to keep the company fiscally solvent as it grows, since it has not run any PPVs or house shows, and generates very little in terms of revenue.
As of now, if the company continues in its current deals with El Rey and Unimas, barring additional revenue streams, it stands to lose a significant amount of money which could scare off its financial backing.
The bottom line is the promotion likely needs a better TV deal, or needs to figure out a way to capitalize off its product (house shows, PPV, merchandise), to stay in business, or it needs a financial backer who really doesn’t care about losing significant money in the short term to grow the promotion (Dixie Carter on Line 1?).
It’s a shame if this is the beginning of the end for the promotion. The weekly TV show has had a spectacular first season, and if Ultima Lucha, the show’s season finale, were sold as a PPV, given how it is shaping up, it would have had the potential to be a PPV of the year contender.