Details On WBD-AEW Relatiosnip, Talk Of A New Deal

AEW and WBD look poised to continue their relationship, though a deal isn’t announced as of yet.

Fightful has been following up with AEW and WBD sources for the last couple of months since the last update we published. Throughout the entire process, both sides felt confident the partnership would continue.

Jinder Mahal (Raj Dhesi) Makes Surprise Appearance At GCW So High

WBD has also still been actively pitching and participating in cross promotional efforts, including the House of the Dragon integration that we saw, as well as working with AEW on their Reebok deal for the Young Bucks and the promotion associated.

There is already an offer on the table from the WBD side to AEW and has been for months, though the details regarding that are few and far between. There have been ongoing talks for quite some time, dating back to last year, when overtures were made to get AEW PPV on Max. However, AEW has opted to wait so far and conversations continued.

For those looking to predict a number, that’s easier said than done. Dynamite, Rampage, Collision, potential peripheral shows (reality shows, Match & a Meal), potential time slot and block changes, exclusivity, library, streaming and potential PPV rights could all play a role.

AEW and WBD also have weekly meetings on Mondays to discuss integrations, creative plans, and to prevent any hurdles the two may face throughout the days that follow.

In addition, we’re told that it’s no accident that there have been a variety of different time slots and three hour blocks that include any combination of their shows. Fightful Select was told that AEW and WBD are examining what nights, time slots and time blocks work best and have been monitoring that appropriately.

We can confirm that we’d heard WBD had interest in 2023 in putting AEW PPVs on the Max service, though it was later expected that AEW will likely negotiate their properties together at first, before evaluating the possibility of individually.

Regarding the WWE aspect of things and the rumored meeting last year between WWE and WBD, industry sources said that they expected all along WWE to wait until the right time to announce a deal for WWE Raw. One of the main reasons for that was that the market wasn’t particularly robust for TV deals at the end of 2023, and despite getting a healthy increase on their Smackdown rights, the stock took a hit. This is something WWE was said to look to avoid, and WBD wasn’t surprised by this. WWE and WBD did meet last year before WWE secured their television rights. When Fightful asked WBD sources about the meeting, we were told that the two sides are international business partners because of the relationship with TNT Sports and WWE.

WBD sources we spoke to said that the word of extending TV rights last year likely extended to AEW as well, as the landscape in late 2023 didn’t seem as attractive for those selling TV rights. Earlier in 2024, sources indicated that it would likely be well within 2024 before they ended up announcing anything. WBD was also in play for the NBA rights, which are a major priority, but was been publicly adamant they won’t overpay for products

“We’re not typically in the habit of making schedule flexibility and giving overruns to properties we aren’t confident or interested in,” the WBD source said to Fightful in regards to many online doom and gloom forecasts regarding AEW’s future. WBD also was not nearly as concerned with the June 19 number as many would expect, and offered a slew of reasons as to why the show had a low number

WBD sources said that the three hours television blocks are not a coincidence, either. Ahead of the possibility of renewals, both sides are seeing what programming blocks work together well, how they perform, and on what night they perform best.

Regarding how NBA rights could affect things, it was admitted from both sides earlier this year that it was likely to be a domino effect. One AEW source compared it to an NFL QB setting the contract market and seeing how things play out after. If WBD were to lose NBA TV rights, there would be a lot more flexibility for other programming.

This article first appeared on our premium service, Fightful Select and was republished here on Fightful for SEO reasons. If you complain about it being "old news," you have to pay for Nestea for SRS. Subscribe to get exclusive news every day, and a half-dozen weekly podcasts.

To directly support us and our continuing breaking news, interviews, and the like, subscribe to FightfulSelect.com. You'll get exclusive news sent to you directly before anyone else, and dozens of podcasts monthly including Alex Pawlowski's Sour Graps, Sean Ross Sapp's Q&A, Retro Reviews and more

Get exclusive pro wrestling content on Fightful Select, our premium news service! Click here to learn more.