History could be in the making.
When Warner Media Group, which operates Turner Sports (TBS, TNT) presents their upfronts to advertisers in May, AEW will reportedly be presented, according to @FightOracle on Twitter.
This could be huge news as television networks present their fall and midseason shows to advertisers to prepare for commercial purchases. If AEW is truly being presented at Warner Media Group’s upfronts, it could be indicative of the fact that the new promotion is closing in on a deal.
This would fall in line with what various AEW staff have said in the past, including Jim Ross who recently said that the promotion would be debuting in October on national television on a major cable network. JR would also mention that people would be doubly excited when they hear what network it is as it’ll be accessible to everyone.
AEW has built their brand very well thus far and this new television deal could be monumental in the history of the wrestling industry. While there have been other televised promotions in the past, the only promotion even close to touching WWE (and briefly winning the battle before selling to their competitor) was WCW, a company that was founded by Ted Turner and ran on TNT. This would be the likely destination for a new AEW show, though the deal is reportedly not signed. It is, however, in advanced talks.
While AEW isn’t necessarily looking to compete directly with WWE, they are undoubtedly a company who is competing indirectly simply by existing. This is especially true when considering some of the faces showing up on AEW already, including JR and Chris Jericho. This new television deal would only make the indirect competition seem more apparent and inherently direct.
It’s also possible that the new AEW TV show wouldn’t be a year-round product and could actually feature an offseason. This has been a highly-discussed topic as of late with even Roman Reigns pitching the idea in an interview not too long ago.
Time will tell if AEW ultimately works out as a promotion, but they’re certainly moving quickly and doing things the right way.