There was a lot of confusion earlier this week after it was announced that AEW’s new weekly show “All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite” would not be aired live in the UK.
Instead, fans will have to wait until Sunday morning at 8.20am to see the whole show free of charge.
So why exactly isn’t it being aired live? Well, because I’m not literate enough to explain, here is Dave Meltzer’s explanation in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
What killed the live airing were problems between TNT and ITV 4 regarding commercial breaks that couldn’t be rectified.
In the U.K., OFCOM, which regulates over-the-air television (as opposed to Sky and BT, which WWE airs on), mandates no more than 12 commercial minutes per show. TNT will have 15 or 16 minutes, and there are ways you think you can work through it by having one break per hour that is taken on TNT but not ITV 4, but that didn’t work out because they each had certain specifications on timing of breaks during the hours that couldn’t be worked out.
It would not have been impossible, but would have been difficult and ITV 4 decided they couldn’t do it live. There are ways around it with having dark breaks but ITV 4 didn’t want to do it and they aren’t doing it with any other shows and it was not something they wanted.
There are similar regulations that apply to Sky and BT, which currently and in the case of BT, in the future, air or will air Raw and Smackdown live and have done so for years. Sky got around it by adding WWE ads into the programs for the repeat shows. On live shows, ads for your own channel don’t count toward those commercial minutes restrictions for OFCOM. Channels do use them once their commercial minutes are used for an hour.
But ITV 4 in the end decided there were too many issues to broadcast the show live weekly in that time slot.
It was also noted that the hugely negative reaction to the announcement has led to Tony Khan and AEW trying other avenues to find a way of airing the show free in the UK.