The company people said wouldn’t last a year is sticking around for a long time. Reports are swirling that AEW and Warner Brothers Discovery will announce a new long-term content and television deal next Wednesday at the Theater inside Madison Square Garden. Reports indicate the total package is worth $1 Billion Dollars.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WBD and AEW will not only announce the new TV rights deal, but the new Saturday wrestling show called AEW Collision. It has been reported for quite some time now, the AEW would end its YouTube shows AEW Dark and Dark Elevation. And the star of AEW Collision will be none other than returning star CM Punk. In addition to Punk, there is another superstar set to return to wrestling.
As it was reported by Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Podcast, the new deal gives WBD exclusivity on AEW programming. That includes all the PPVs as well not only Dynamite, Rampage, and Collision. As part of the deal, it appears AEW PPVs will be streamed on HBO Max soon to be just Max. That name change happens right before AEW Double or Nothing on Memorial Day Weekend.
As both Zarian and Meltzer are reporting this does not include a Ring of Honor TV deal as well. Tony Khan, who owns both AEW and ROH, has an Honor Club subscription service where ROH TV and events are streamed.
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After AEW started on television in the Fall of 2019, a new four-year TV deal was announced in January 2020. That deal runs through the end of this year. Part of that extension called for $175 million total with an option year at “a significantly increased price.”
Again this is another major step for a company that continuously does not compete with WWE.
Recall, when the company first began it was about giving fans an alternative to WWE. It was started by four guys who had a vision with the first All In PPV. Then it became so much more.
Though there were subtle jabs at the company, AEW find ways to provide good wrestling content for fans of pro wrestling. Not to mention, they got a lot of people through the pandemic with their weekly TV shows. They reinvented how to do a weekly TV show by moving the cameras and not showing an empty arena.
Now all their hard work has paid off. Again we do not know the length of the deal, but reports indicate it is $1 Billion dollars. Even with the ratings what they are, they are still a top 10 show in the 18-49 each week. That is good enough for WBD to sign off on this extension.
The pro wrestling world is doing just fine. Great time to be a wrestling fan.
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