It’s no WWE deal, but it’s still a great deal for AEW.
The new television partnership entered into by AEW and WarnerMedia, does not include right fees. For fans who only know wrestling and tv deals by the numbers given to WWE recently by both FOX and NBC Universal, this might sound, at first, like AEW got the shaft. They didn’t.
Yes, WWE sold their tv rights for SmackDown Live and Raw to FOX and NBC Universal for over $1 billion each. And yes, AEW will receive no payment for the show that will start airing in October on TNT. That said, this not all that uncommon.
For a new startup like AEW to land a huge platform like TNT, it shouldn’t have been expected they would receive a rights deal. Instead, what AEW will get is a split of the ad revenue and the agreement that WarnerMedia will pay for the production of the show.
This alone, is a good deal for AEW.
According to TSN’s John McMullen, WarnerMedia paying for production is unprecedented. That AEW is receiving an ad split is also massive news. A company like AEW, who has never had a tv deal before, just doesn’t get these kinds of deals.
And, if you’re still not sold this is a win for AEW, look at this way. Vince McMahon just signed a new tv deal for the XFL. Even with a relationship with FOX, that deal with ESPN and Fox Sports does not include rights fees and there is no advertising split. All the XFL receives is the networks paying for production costs and XFL gets to handle the sponsorships at the stadiums.