There were rumors of how the upcoming AEW campaign, backed by billionaire Shad Khan wrestling, will be televised. Tony Maglio from The Wrap reported last week that AEW was in "advanced talks" with Turner to broadcast a weekly show at TNT. Maglio added this week that in an interview with the 411 Wrestling website, AEW might have to pay for TNT. Long-time wrestling author Dave Meltzer has denied some of his details, including the day of the week he was sent and whether he's aired all year. Meltzer is relentless that AEW does not have to pay to be on TV.
Although nothing is regulated and the reports are still contradictory, many seem to overlook the effects of AEW shown on highly distributed television.
Sure, AEW has a lot to prove, but if you land on linear television on a channel like TNT, then you would say that they are going to make a real difference in the industry. The WWE product has been declining for several years, but as we all know, wrestling fans had no other option. All of their competitors, Impact, NJPW and Ring of Honor, are impractical on TV channels, either most people who do not know it or have no access at all. And unlike these three promotions, AEW already has a big star power behind it.
For the first time since the days of WCW, a non-WWE action has the rights to best-in-class talent in North America. That's what Kenny Omega AEW gives right away. Those who have not yet seen him will find it hard to believe in a world of Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns. In addition, I bring you some moments from his fourth game against Kazuchika Okada, which is perhaps the best game ever played:
Omega is not alone either. He is accompanied by some of the most entertaining talent in wrestling, including Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks, Chris Jericho and Pac (who appeared as Neville in WWE). No one would be surprised if some of the angry WWE superstars like Dean Ambrose, Sasha Banks and Luke Harper join them as soon as they are free.
Maglio is right because they need gymnasts more than the other way around. However, AEW can have a significant impact on Turner. Say AEW has an average of one million viewers per week – that's about half of SmackDown's US. Add the option to put the PPVs on B / R Live. Depending on how fast they sell events, AEW would be a big win for Turner, as PPV sales on B / R Live are being shifted to a different audience than the football feeders they currently have.
Providing the PPVs into a streaming service, such as the WWE, will be an important source of value for AEW. That is why DAZN makes logical sense as a destination. Nevertheless, there is no indication that they are interested. The same goes for Disney, which can stream it to either ESPN + or its upcoming Netflix rival Disney +. The weekly AEW show would fit in nicely with ESPN2, though again there is no indication that this is a possibility in the cards.
I understand – AEW is not proven. They build from scratch. It does not take long, however, to sum it all up and to see a scenario in which several companies fight for their rights within three to five years. Get in now.