wrestling / News

Tony Khan Is Open To Warner Bros. Discovery Investing In AEW, Possible Streaming Deal

September 26, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Tony Khan AEW Beer Image Credit: AEW

Tony Khan is open to additional investment in AEW by Warner Bros. Discovery and a streaming platform deal, though he’s not interested in any ownership changes. Khan was asked about the company’s relationship with WBD on the media call promoting this weekend’s WrestleDream. He was asked whether WBD owns any sort of minority stake in AEW or there have been discussions about such. You can check out some highlights below, per Fightful and Wrestling Inc:

On if there’s been discussions of WBD investing in AEW: “It’s something we’ve talked about a lot. There has been a lot of conversations about that. It’s always been something I’ve been open to. Between Warner Bros. Discovery and myself, a lot of the financial and structural details of our partnership, we’ve been able to keep between us, but there are things that have always said to be true, that I own 100% of the voting stock of this company and that I have 100% of the decision making power in the company. I’ve been open to taking on additional partnerships or things of that nature. We have a really great deal, right now, with Warner Brothers Discovery, and I would love to have an even longer agreement. As for them and their stake in the business, that is something that would be between us, but I would also be open to that, to Warner Brothers in a future deal, having a piece or a bigger piece, potentially, but I would always want to maintain 100% voting control, as I have now, and want to maintain the majority of stock, which I have now.

“These are things that are important to me, but in a future deal, these are things I would be open to. There is nothing bad about it. We’ve seen in pro wrestling this year a change of control. I have no interest in a change of control. Would I be interested in taking on additional investment? Yeah, potentially. It would have to be at the right numbers and it would have to make sense for us based on how much our business has grown this year. As for a change or control or giving up voting stock, no, I have no interest in that.”

On the possibility of a streaming deal for AEW: “I am very open to putting AEW events on a streaming platform. I think it would be a great thing. I think we’re frankly close enough to the end of our media obligations here, and our current deal, where that sounds like a new deal to me. And it’s the kind of thing that would be part of a new media rights package, and that would be really great for us, so it’s something I would really like to do. It’s outside the scope of our current contract, which is for our live TV events and our pay-per-view events, and we’ve got something really great happening.”

On if he would be interested in a short-term “tryout” streaming deal: “I have no interest in doing like a tryout at this point. We’ve been doing this for three and a half years. I’m not gonna do a six-month, nine-month tryout on streaming, I don’t think that makes sense for any of us.”