In recent reports, it has emerged that All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is engaged in negotiations with Warner Bros. Discovery for a new TV deal. However, the discussions have taken an intriguing turn, with talks of AEW potentially increasing its schedule of pay-per-view (PPV) events, potentially transitioning to a monthly format.
This development has sparked a wave of speculation about the direction of the deal. Shedding further light on the matter, renowned wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer offered his analysis during a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio.
Meltzer contemplated the possible outcomes of this deal, particularly if it involves Warner Bros. Discovery's streaming platform, Max. He suggested that if Max guarantees AEW the revenue equivalent to what they would generate from 12 traditional PPV events, a monthly PPV model could be a viable option.
He also mentioned the possibility of Max emulating the approach taken by UFC on ESPN+, wherein they offer pay-per-view events that they themselves purchase. In either case, AEW would have the advantage of a guaranteed income stream.
Meltzer acknowledged that Warner Bros. Discovery has a vested interest in the success of AEW's PPVs, as they currently handle the American pay-per-view streaming through Bleacher Report Live. However, it is important to note that the negotiations are still ongoing and no final agreement has been reached.
Broader Implications of AEW's Negotiations
Moreover, Meltzer delved into the broader implications of the negotiations with Warner Bros. Discovery. He pointed out that the ratings for AEW's recent event, "AEW Collision," which aired on a Saturday, demonstrated the need for highly anticipated shows to attract significant viewership.
With fewer people watching television on Saturdays and potential competition from live sports events, it becomes crucial for AEW to deliver compelling content to secure strong ratings. The success of "Collision" in surpassing the viewership of movies previously aired on TNT's Saturday night slot will significantly influence the terms of AEW's new contract with Warner Bros.
Discovery, as well as potential offers from rival networks or companies. As the negotiations continue, AEW finds itself at a pivotal juncture, exploring the potential for an expanded PPV schedule while navigating the evolving landscape of streaming platforms and audience preferences.
The outcome of these talks will undoubtedly shape the future of AEW and its standing in the professional wrestling industry.