wrestling / News

Turner Executives Reportedly Unaware of AEW’s Talks With Other Networks

April 19, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Shahid Khan AEW

UPDATED: AEW is apparently keeping their discussions with networks fairly secret from each other. According to a source we’ve checked with, Turner Executives were apparently unaware that AEW was in discussions with any other network until they read it in the media.

It should be noted that the idea of Turner being unaware of possible talks with Showtime (if that’s the other network AEW is in talks with) isn’t all that strange. While one might think that potential negotiation partners might be aware of competing offers (if not the details), that is not always the case. Showtime is said to be keeping any word of their negotiations quiet for the time being and have not issued any comments about the topic.

ORIGINAL While Turner Sports has been the main television network associated with the latest news on AEW’s potential TV homes, Showtime is also rumored to be in the mix. Wrestling reporter Les Moore of Talking Sheet, as well as ProWrestling.net, have both reported rumors — to be clear, unconfirmed ones — that Showtime has been a name in the mix. This could go along with reports by WON that an offer from another network is on the table.

Moore says that the information about Showtime largely is not coming from “AEW-friendly camps.” The rumor, which he refers to as “Dark Twitter rumor at the highest degree,” backs up the reports that there is a network deal from Turner, as well as one from a premium cable channel that could be (but is not confirmed to be) Showtime. The premium cable offer was for less money and less exposure, while the Turner deal was for “great money.” However, when Turner looked into deal and discovered that ROH did most of the production work for All In, they became concerned about how “the big Proof of Concept lost its shine” and pulled the deal.

There was then talk (again, according to the rumor) that they could work a deal with Turner to take less money or pay for airtime (TV reporter Tony Maglio also told us in our recent interview with him that AEW would likely be buying airtime in a potential Turner deal), which would allow them to prove themselves to the company. The thought was apparently that Showtime (or whichever premium cable home it would be) would be a risk because the premium network aspect means they would have far less exposure and would be labelled as a niche company. AEW was said to be heavily advised by influencers to take the premium network deal as it was a unique deal that played into the idea that AEW was changing the game in the wrestling industry. At this point AEW started playing things very close to the vest in terms of what their plans were.

Moore notes that “The confidence is 100% there that, if they haven’t by the time [October rolls around, they will quickly thereafter flip their paid time agreement (whatever the details of those may be) to a lucrative offer.”

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