AEW & WBD Exclusive Media Rights Negotiation Window Closing ‘Pretty Soon’

AEW & WBD Exclusive Media Rights Negotiation Window Closing ‘Pretty Soon’ AEW/WBD

With 2024 marking a “really big year” for AEW as it negotiates new media rights, a deep dive into the WBD relationship has emerged.

Early today, it was reported that, despite positivity in the negotiation process with WBD from Tony Khan, he was “disappointed” by the current offer on the table.

Dave Meltzer has also addressed the negotiations on Wrestling Observer Radio, providing a deep dive into what’s going on.

According to Meltzer, the exclusive negotiation window between AEW and WBD is up sooner than reported, stating:

“The exclusive timeframe is coming up pretty soon it’s not far off anymore. It’s earlier than has been reported, but it’s not like this week or next week or anything like that but the time’s coming.

“AEW’s future in many ways, future as far as profitability goes, or level of profitability is completely dependent upon this.

“The better the television deal the more they can reasonably afford to bid on wrestlers, they could sign bigger name wrestlers when contracts are up and all that stuff.

“If they don’t get a better deal than they have now, they’ll be around but it would be harder to get as many top wrestlers to come over if the deal comes in low.

“There very clearly are very significant negotiations going on and WBD does want to keep the programming.”

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Meltzer would then look at what he considers to be a good deal for AEW, going on to say:

“But the question is, is it worth, to a station, more than $125 million a year, which to me is the key figure.

“I think if you’re at $110 (million) they’d break even or be profitable, maybe even a little lower but $125 (million) is healthy profits.

“If it’s $110 (million) and they give up the pay-per-views somehow that’s not a great deal.”

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He would then go on to explore the international television market and its changing attitude towards WWE, noting:

“But as far as how a lot of brands grow there is a lot of room for growth on some of these deals and every single television station that has WWE pro wrestling outside of the United States is not going to have WWE pro wrestling in January of this year.

“The point is SportsNet (Canada) is losing its wrestling; in India, Sony Six is losing its wrestling; in the UK, TNT Sports is losing its wrestling and on and on and on. Germany and Middle East and everywhere, essentially they’re all losing their wrestling, and if the stations want to keep wrestling the best option is AEW.

“And if AEW is able to get deals with these stations at even half of what WWE gets or less than half of what WWE gets, that alone would make it profitable even if the WBD deal isn’t a big increase.”

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While Khan may be “disappointed” with the offer from WBD, he has recently noted the strong relationship he has with the broadcast partner and in particular WBD CEO David Zaslav.

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3 weeks ago by Dave Adamson

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