– It appears as if All Elite Wrestling could end up paying for air time in their potential deal with Turner Sports. Speaking with our own Jeffrey Harris for the 411 Wrestling Interviews podcast, The Wrap reporter Tony Maglio revealed that AEW’s reported deal would likely include the company paying for their airtime. Maglio was the reporter who originally broke the news of AEW’s advanced talks with WarnerMedia via The Wrap.
Earlier in the conversation when discussing what format AEW’s TV show may take, Maglio said that he expected that it won’t be a three-hour show and that a one-hour show could make more sense, noting that in addition to having talent that’s used to writing weekly wrestling programs, “Look, they have to pay for air time.” Later on in the discussion, he said that according to people he’s spoken to, “they’ll be buying their TV time, essentially, in all likelihood.”
He added, “My understanding based on the people I’ve spoken to is that it would be more AEW paying for its time on TNT than Turner paying AEW for its show. Another very good wrestling reporter and I had been talking about whether that would be the case or whether it would be a revenue share, and we’d both heard rumblings and talked to people. Maybe a couple of months ago it might have been a little bit of a different story. But the truth is, when you’re talking to Turner, [they’re] a very well-established, very well-off company inside of gigantic parent company…it’s not the UFC. It’s not WWE, it’s not MLB. They have MLB, they have NBA. They know what they have to pay for. And I think currently, AEW has way more to prove than Turner has in terms of trying to get them to come to their networks. I think AEW needs this deal more than Turner does.”
If AEW is paying for its airtime on TNT, that would be a very different sort of deal for a lot of obvious reasons. WWE’s deals with USA Network and FOX for Raw and Smackdown will bring in heavy licensing fees for WWE, much like their previous deal with USA did for both shows. Essentially, USA Network is paying WWE for the broadcast rights to the show. Obviously, that’s very different than a situation where AEW would essentially be buying airtime on which they could broadcast their TV show. TNA paid for their airtime during the FOX Sports Net period in 2004 to 2005, leasing the hour on Fridays during which they aired Impact!. There were reports that TNA also paid for their airtime on POP TV, something which POP denied.
You can listen to the full conversation below.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the 411 Wrestling Interview Podcast on 411mania.com.