wrestling / News

Tony Khan Expects AEW Will Get A ‘Lucrative Deal’ For Media Rights

February 8, 2023 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Tony Khan AEW Beer Image Credit: AEW

In an interview with Uproxx, AEW CEO Tony Khan said that he expects the company will get an increase in money from their next media rights deal. The company’s current deal with Warner Bros. Discovery is believed to be expiring at the end of the year, which means negotiations will start soon. Here are highlights:

Tony Khan o four years of AEW: “When we launched, having the availability and accessibility and prestige of TNT/TBS set us apart from a lot of other promotions that have launched. We launched with such a strong roster and we had some of the top stars in wrestling from our very first show. And the roster has grown so much and strengthened a lot over the years. Now, I think we’ve just grown to the point where we’re doing our most consistent run of TV shows right now.”

On his thought process in launching AEW: “There are always going to be free agents and big names that become available over time in pro wrestling, and I think that’s one of the reasons that the launch of AEW was so exciting. That was actually part of my presentation to Warner executives five years ago, was that we would be creating the first truly competitive free agent market in pro wrestling in two decades. I felt like there was a disparity, the choices available to a wrestler, as far as which promotions they’d want to work with. And I think now, with the rise of AEW, it’s provided better choices and an alternative for the wrestling fans, but also for the pro wrestlers. And historically, particularly in the cable TV era, that free agent market and the excitement around it can generate a lot of buzz for a wrestling company, and sometimes for multiple wrestling companies as wrestlers go back and forth.”

On AEW media rights negotiations: “I expect big increases in the rights for the AEW programs and we’re on a good pace to make a very lucrative deal for the AEW media rights going forward.”

On AEW content on a streaming service: “We’ve done 174 episodes of Dynamite, 80 episodes of AEW Rampage, our 17th pay-per-view event will be March 5 in Revolution, so we’ve done hundreds and hundreds of hours of AEW content in our library. I also purchased Ring of Honor last year, which is a great promotion with over 20 years of history, thousands of hours of video in their library. So overall, AEW has access to so many great wrestling events, including some events that are widely considered to be some of the best wrestling events of all time. There’s a lot of interest in this library as well as the new weekly content we continue to produce each week, and I do think there’s a lot of demand for the library and it makes a lot of sense for us to try to make that AEW library available to fans all over the world on demand.”

Tony Khan on the legacy of AEW and ROH: “AEW and Ring of Honor both have a great legacy. There are some of the biggest stars in wrestling who won championships in both promotions. Even today, Samoa Joe, the king of television, is a TV champion representing both promotions as the TNT champion of AEW and the Ring of Honor World Television champion simultaneously and is a Hall of Fame star, a first-ballot Hall of Famer for Ring of Honor and one of the biggest names in AEW. And both companies have had a great relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling historically. And now I think that the promotions compliment each other very well. But I want to run them as separate promotions that exist in the same metaverse of pro wrestling along with New Japan Pro Wrestling and some of our other partners.”

article topics :

AEW, Tony Khan, Joseph Lee