The merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery has been seen as a huge thing for a variety of reasons. So far, WarnerMedia has been quite satisfied with AEW’s performance on TNT and TBS.
AEW signed a deal with WarnerMedia, which will finish at the end of next year. For the most part, WarnerMedia has been happy with AEW, despite inconsistent ratings on a weekly basis.
There was also belief that AEW might have been in danger after WarnerMedia’s budget cuts. While speaking on an “After 83 Weeks” Q&A episode, Eric Bischoff stated that he believes AEW is in no danger after Warner Bros and Discovery’s merger.
“I’m probably more convinced than most anybody that’s not in the company, AEW’s going to be fine. Here’s what I’ll be looking for, here’s my indicator: at the upfronts, after the first of the year, how prevalent is AEW being promoted to advertisers during the upfronts?
I think that will be one of, if not the biggest indicator of what’s going to happen in 2024,” he said before noting other hints fans can keep eyes on. “If you start seeing more promotion across the networks. Just random commercials, promotion and you start seeing more and more, that’s a good sign. If you start seeing any of their ancillary programming getting green-lit, that’s another good sign.” While Bischoff’s positive tone runs in stark contrast to his recent bashing of Tony Khan’s AEW booking, the former executive is well-aware of how television mergers can effect the pro wrestling landscape as he was on deck as WCW President for the beginnings of the merger of AOL and Time Warner. Matters didn’t go as well for WCW, but there is something that’s universal when it comes to having a pro wrestling product on your channel. “You can’t get cheaper programming than professional wrestling that draws a [good] number.”
The relationship between AEW and WarnerMedia hasn’t been a difficult one that we can tell. This is why even Matt Hardy isn’t concerned about the merger. We’ll have to see whether Bischoff turns out to be right or not.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!