AEW’s current television contract with Warner Brothers Discovery is scheduled to conclude by the end of 2024, making the upcoming year a pivotal one for Tony Khan and his television ventures.
While Khan remains commitment to the company, questions loom about the level of interest Warner Brothers Discovery holds in retaining AEW.
Tony Khan has previously emphasized the strength of AEW’s relationship with Warner Brothers Discovery. Nonetheless, the possibility exists that AEW might not continue on the same platform for their subsequent television agreements.
During recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff delved into Tony Khan’s dedication to AEW, describing him as being “in it for the long haul.” However, Bischoff also raised important concerns about the consequences if AEW fails to secure a renewal with Warner Brothers Discovery.
“To put it simply, if they lose Warner Brothers Discovery as a platform, I’m not sure where they’ll find their next home. It’s likely to be a smaller cable outlet, as I don’t foresee a major network picking them up. The situation with Paramount and Warner Brothers Discovery is an unpredictable wildcard. It’s impossible to predict the variables it could introduce. If the Paramount Warner Brothers Discovery merger does materialize, it could either be a major setback or a golden opportunity for AEW. We’re in the dark at this stage. If it’s not the golden opportunity, and AEW finds itself without a TV partner while WWE secures the Paramount Warner Brothers Discovery deal, it leaves Tony Khan facing limited options in a landscape where only a few conglomerates dominate the industry. Where can he turn, and what does he have to offer? Not much. The pitch becomes, ‘We were on Turner for five years in prime time, and our viewership has declined over that period. But we want to join your network.’ It’s a tough sell, and I wouldn’t want to be the one tasked with making that pitch.”
While nothing is definitive at this point and all of this remains speculative, it’s enough to spark discussions due to the substantial rumors swirling around the future of television broadcasting in professional wrestling and AEW’s potential place within it.
Reports suggest that Warner Bros Discovery has shown interest in WWE as well. WWE has yet to secure a new home for its flagship show, RAW, and a new deal is set to commence in October 2024.
Recent rumors suggest that CM Punk’s return to WWE has piqued Warner Brothers Discovery’s interest, which could pose an additional challenge for Tony Khan if WWE manages to secure Warner Brothers Discovery as the new home for RAW.
Do you feel AEW is in serious jeopardy of losing their deal with WBD? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!