AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT are currently engaged in a Wednesday Night War. That could come to an end sometime this year after NBC Sports Network shuts down. One would think that AEW will benefit, but they could have even bigger competition.
The entire landscape of television sports is about the change as NBC Sports Network splits off their various programming. The NHL will cause the biggest issue for pro wrestling. Their Wednesday night double-header games will not only likely move NXT out of their current timeslot, but it could be even greater competition for AEW.
During Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that the entire dynamic is about to change. The situation is no longer Vince McMahon and USA Network “playing silly pro wrestling games,” because the NHL will bring a much different prestige to the situation. The lack of Wednesday night competition could add viewers from a much different demographic to the situation as well.
“The thing on that is that it changes the whole dynamic because there are bigger things than Vince McMahon, and USA Network both, wanting to keep AEW down; which is the whole reason NXT is on television to start with, but the NHL is gonna mean a lot more than playing silly pro wrestling games, because it just is.”
“Even though wrestling draws higher ratings the NHL is a prestige thing. It will become the highest profile thing on USA Network even though the wrestling will remain, RAW will certainly remain the highest rated show. Even if it has another drop this year like it did last year it will still remain the highest rated show, and probably for years to come, but it changes the dynamic.”
“If this happens then AEW is on Wednesday to itself, and we’ve already seen what happens then. It’s 200,000, or more if it becomes regular, extra viewers to AEW every week. Not as many of those new viewers will be 18-49. Actually, it will age-out AEW because a majority of those over 50 will change over to AEW so it will increase their demo, so it will age them up a little bit.”
There are a lot of moving parts to this, but the pro wrestling world will be greatly influenced by how it all plays out. AEW Dynamite could end 2021 with a much larger fanbase. We will continue to monitor everything right here at Ringside News.
Transcription by Ringside News