AEW will enter this year’s network upfront meetings looking to increase advertiser interest in the product. With the Warner Bros. Discovery merger fully taking shape, the company will have to impress new network management. AEW will begin negotiating the rights fees for their next TV deal soon, and an impressive performance at the key advertiser meetings could go long way towards helping secure the company’s future.
WWE will be sending a ton of big names for the NBCUniversal upfronts. For AEW, doing so makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, the Warner Bros. Discovery upfronts take place on the same day as Dynamite. The Warner-Discovery advertiser upfronts will take place on Wednesday at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
AEW will be in Houston for this week’s Dynamite and Rampage tapings at that time. Tony Khan will surely have a few wrestlers available that aren’t booked, but most of the top stars are currently involved in key builds towards the upcoming Double or Nothing pay-per-view. On this week’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed the dilemma.
“The whole thing with the upfronts, at first AEW was going to be pushed really, really hard. Then, changes were made and they weren’t, which wasn’t a good sign. And then, it changed again, and they are, which is a good sign.
The upfronts, I think, are Wednesday, so it’s tough. WWE is going to be sending its top talent, but AEW is taping a show on Wednesday. It’s going to be very difficult to send a lot of its top talent. They probably could send some people. It’s one of the shows that they’re listing as key shows, so it’s being positioned very strongly right now.”
The future of AEW’s television contract could depend on how things go at this year’s network upfronts. Tony Khan will surely want to make a strong impression on the new ownership of the Turner networks. A huge increase in revenue would mean a lot to AEW, and the company will have to work with the situation they were given to try and make it happen.
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Transcription by Ringside News