AEW is facing a great deal of uncertainty as the Warner Bros. Discovery merger continues to unfold. It was recently reported that the company had big plans to push hard for AEW at the upcoming Warner Discovery upfronts. That is a good sign, but there are still a lot of questions about Tony Khan’s promotion going forward.
The new management at Warner Discovery has been cleaning house. Layoffs have been reducing staff leftover from WarnerMedia as they are replaced with Discovery’s picks. One of those layoffs had a huge impact on bringing AEW to the Turner networks.
In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer talked about the current state of AEW in the Warner Bros. Discovery merger. The company is heavily promoting live sports programming to advertisers, including AEW. On the other side of that coin, Brian Weitz, the GM of TNT, TBS, and TruTV who brought wrestling back to the networks has been let go.
“A few more notes regarding AEW’s standing as of this week within the Warner Discovery empire. There has been plenty of promotion of AEW during both the NBA and NHL playoff games on both TNT and TBS. AEW is also expected to have a major push at the Warner Media upfronts that take place on 5/18, which would make it one of the key shows they are trying to sell to advertisers. On the flip side, the bloodletting at Discovery Warner continued with Brett Weitz, the General Manager of TNT, TBS and TruTV, being ousted from his role after 14 years. Weitz was credited for launching [Snowpiercer], Chad, AEW, Impractical Jokers and the revival of Wipeout.”
AEW will have to start negotiating a new TV rights deal for 2024 soon. The makeup of the company’s future may depend on it. Tony Khan is hoping for a massive increase.
If the new brass at Warner Bros. Discovery decides wrestling isn’t in the network’s future, the deal could be greatly reduced or simply not renewed. There have been plenty of positive signs that AEW is safe. The loss of one of their biggest television allies has to have some in Tony Khan’s circle second-guessing things.
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