According to F4WOnline.com, Matt and Jeff Hardy were leaning towards re-signing with TNA, and as we noted had verbal agreements to remain with the company back in December. The major hold up, however, was ultimately said to be the issue of exclusivity. One of the main reasons why The Hardys wanted to remain with TNA is because they were under the impression they would once again be granted full creative control of their characters and the “Broken” gimmicks.
However, when Anthem Sports & Entertainment came in, and Jeff Jarrett returned to the company, The Hardys were told they would not be granted full creative control, and the creative control clause they wanted written into their contracts was denied.
Word is when The Hardys were told they would not be granted creative control, Jeff Hardy immediately backed out on signing a new deal, but Matt continued discussions. Matt was later “spooked” when negotiations began to stall, and he wasn’t hearing back from TNA, so he decided to begin negotiating elsewhere.
With regards to TNA allowing The Hardys to leave, despite the brothers being widely considered the highlight of Impact Wrestling broadcasts, with the new regime in TNA the company felt it wanted to produce a more serious wrestling product. There was also the feeling that despite the verbal popularity of the “Broken” gimmick, and fans chanting “delete” and “obsolete” at events, Impact Wrestling ratings had been falling in the past few months. While TNA was not directly blaming The Hardys for ratings stagnation, from a business standpoint word is that if the gimmick was red hot then ratings likely would have at least maintained. The first major Broken Hardys segment TNA promoted averaged 400,000 viewers, but since then Hardy segments have been on shows with lower ratings rather than higher ratings.