More insight has emerged on AEW’s future following the recent WarnerMedia upfront presentations to advertisers.
It was noted in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW barely had a presence at the upfronts. While a banner did list AEW Dynamite as a hit show on Wednesdays, it was pointed out that AEW’s ratings successes weren’t pushed, no AEW talent attended the presentations, and AEW barely featured in the highlight video of properties.
Dave Meltzer summarized:
As it turned out, things changed once again and AEW wasn’t pushed heavily at the WarnerMedia upfronts on 5/18, which I’d say is not a good sign. There was a banner of WarnerMedia properties basically listing a hit show from every night of the week that listed the NBA on Monday, Chopped on Tuesday, AEW Dynamite on Wednesday (with a photo of Red Velvet for whatever reason although it was just a head shot, but still, for the NBA they put Steph Curry, and Red Velvet is hardly AEW’s Steph Curry), Anderson Cooper 360 on Thursday, Gold Rush on Friday, Love It or Leave It on Saturday and 90 Day Fiancé on Sunday.
“In that sense, it was good positioning and it was noted that the NHL and Major League Baseball didn’t even get listings. But as far as any pushing of their ratings, demos or anything else, it wasn’t there, although they really didn’t do that for anyone. No AEW talent was there. There was a highlight of properties and there was a quick AEW clip but that was it. Wednesday is a bad day since all the talent was in Houston but reps from many of the key shows were there and they could have sent someone if the network wanted it.
“As noted, this went through many phases. The original was a heavy push, then it was very little presence, then it was to be stronger and as it turned out it was positioned well at first but wasn’t pushed hard at all. WWE earlier in the week was a bigger deal with the FOX upfronts where they had a specific WWE Smackdown presentation that pointed out Smackdown is No. 1 in the 18-34 demo on Friday nights and Reigns being there. It is among the four major networks, but the NBA on cable beats it in that demo all the time. WWE also got ad deals with movie studios pushing release
There has been concern within the fanbase that the WarnerMedia-Discovery might not want wrestling content on its networks post-merger. Brett Weitz, the General Manager of TBS, TNT and TruTV, who played a big part in the growth of AEW, is currently in the process of leaving his position.
We will have further updates on AEW and WarnerMedia’s relationship when it comes available.
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