All Elite Wrestling has had big aspirations since it launched its weekly television show last October. So far, the company has impressed and now it is being rewarded.
On Wednesday, AEW and WarnerMedia announced a new four-year deal to air “Dynamite” on TNT through the end of 2023. Plus, the two sides are expanding their relationship and will add another hourlong weekly show at some point this year.
When we launched AEW one year ago, we wanted to start a revolution that would disrupt the wrestling business, but everyone said that it would take a strong weekly television partner to make AEW real in the eyes of everyone — above all, the fans,” Tony Khan, the president and CEO of AEW, said in a news release. “What virtually no one realized at the time was Kevin Reilly and TNT were committed to this very same movement from Day One, and their belief in us made it possible for AEW to think and act big from the start. Here we are, only three months into Wednesday Night Dynamite, and now we’ve been extended through 2023! We’re now making the ultimate statement that the team of AEW and TNT is here to stay and to bring fans more of the great wrestling that the fans demand and deserve.”
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that AEW is receiving rights fees as part of the new agreement, with WarnerMedia paying the wrestling company $175 million for the four-year deal. It also includes an option for 2024 at an increased price.
As for the new weekly hourlong show, The Wrap’s Tony Maglio spoke with Kevin Reilly — president of TNT & TBS and chief content officer for HBO Max — who said that TNT is taking over the YouTube series “AEW Dark.” While the series currently streams on Tuesdays, Reilly doesn’t know what weeknight it will air but added that it will be on TNT. And it might not air 52 weeks a year, either.
Reilly envisions the cable version of “AEW Dark” as being a different kind of show that will include behind-the-scenes and “docu-follow stuff” that will focus on the athletes and the stories.
As for what night that show might air, Tuesdays would make the most sense; that night was heavily considered for “Dynamite” before it landed on Wednesdays.
Would AEW dare go up against WWE “Monday Night RAW?” TNA Impact did that years ago and quickly retreated after only four weeks, but the wrestling landscape is much different now and AEW is already a stronger company.