Speculation over All Elite Wrestling’s television future continues, with the promotion expected to begin negotiations on a new rights deal in early 2023. AEW’s existing partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery earns the promotion $44 million a year. Based on the weekly ratings, a healthy increase is expected in AEW’s upcoming deal, though Discovery’s recent cost-cutting, particularly with original scripted programming, has raised questions.
Deadline recently released a new WBD strategy report that mentioned the success of AEW Dynamite on Wednesday night. The show was a top two original cable TV show for 16 consecutive weeks, with Deadline recognizing it as a “major draw” for Discovery.
As a result, wrestling could factor into the network’s new scripted strategy, though one of its channels, TNT, “is now looking for more profitable series that don’t prey on high-profile film talent and would complement flagship sports / unscripted programming on TNT.”
AEW Founder and CEO Tony Khan spoke about the promotion’s relationship with WBD during a recent appearance on Sporticast. Calling it a “great partnership”, he said that since Discovery’s takeover of Warner earlier this year, AEW is enjoying bigger opportunities than ever before (h/t Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online):-
“Our TV offerings are, I think, the biggest single source of income and for us we have this great partnership with Warner Brothers Discovery and we have the rest of this year and next year. They have really been so good for us and I feel like not only was the original management so great to take a chance with an unknown company, but after the merger the management at Discovery that came in was so supportive and we get opportunities now with new management even bigger than we have ever been before.”
As originally reported by Wrestlenomics, this Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite averaged 1.175 million viewers on TBS, including 509,000 aged 18-49 for a 0.39 rating. The show comfortably finished first of the night among original cable TV shows.