AEW was represented on Wednesday at the Warner Bros. Discovery upfronts in New York City. The company pushed its upcoming lineup to try and draw in advertisers. It was originally reported that Warner was going to heavily feature AEW, but that was not the case at all.
No AEW stars appeared at the Upfronts. There was a banner featuring Red Velvet alongside several other shows. Ratings, demos, and the success of the company were not mentioned at all. It appears to be a very bad sign for the company.
Dave Meltzer discussed AEW’s surprisingly slim presence at the meetings in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The event falling on a Wednesday kept Tony Khan from sending any wrestlers to appear. Several other Warner shows had a much stronger presence.
“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.”
There has been a lot of speculation about the future of AEW ever since Discovery and WarnerMedia merged. There has been a fear that the new leadership may not be as interested in wrestling as the departing regime. This could be a bad omen as AEW has major TV rights negotiations right around the corner.
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