Kazuchika Okada and Young Bucks

All Elite Wrestling And Warner Bros. Discovery Expected To Ink New TV Deal This Summer

A lot of things are changing in the world of television right now. Warner Bros. Discovery is notable for having a series of issues since their merger. They were also referenced specifically by both writers and actors during their respective strikes, demanding better treatment from studios. Specifically due to how much executives were making in comparison. That said, they needed to try to secure partnerships for their television properties. All Elite Wrestling was given what most would call a “prove it deal” years back, which they outgrew.

Now, the company wants to secure another long-term television deal to remain on both TNT & TBS in the United States. Sadly for them, Warner Bros. Discovery’s main focus was on trying to keep the NBA. They tend to bring in the most viewers on a guaranteed basis. WBD was willing to spend whatever they had to in order to keep the NBA, putting All Elite Wrestling in limbo for the time being.

WBD lost out on keeping the NBA, as journalist Bill Simmons reported that NBC won the television rights for NBA games. As of now, we’re unsure how much they paid to outbid WBD. However, this opens up a lot of major possibilities for AEW. That includes not just television rights for some shows, but perhaps even more beyond this in the future.



[Image via AEW]

Warner Bros. Discovery was the only real company willing to give All Elite Wrestling a chance years back. They had spoken with other companies, it’s said, but none were willing to take the leap. WBD allowed them to do something big, and AEW has been doing very well. Just recently it was reported that TNT Sports & AEW will be launching a new mobile game called AEW: Figure Fighters. Plus, they announced that a new show will be headed to the TBS YouTube Channel called “Meal & A Match.”

Both show that WBD is invested in AEW and was planning to find some way to keep them, regardless of what happened with the NBA. However, they also have to consider how much will be needed for upcoming television rights deals with Major League Baseball. That said, AEW is unlikely to be getting a massive raise in its television deals for shows like AEW Dynamite & Collision.

As of now, neither side has been able to communicate on extending the television rights deal. Both Fightful & The Wrestling Observer report, however, that WBD & AEW’s exclusive window for negotiating new domestic media rights extends through this Summer. This basically means that Warner Bros. Discovery has first rights to re-sign them before they can start speaking with other media companies.

Since that extends through the Summer, the two sides will likely speak sometime soon. However, AEW is supposedly going to be mentioned during the WBD Upfronts this week. This usually only happens when a company is confident it will secure the rights to something or already has.



MAX Announcement
[Image via Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images]

WBD might have a lot of problems from the ground all the way to the tip top of the company. Yet one thing that they have tried to stay up to date on is streaming. In fact, Warner Bros. originally started up the DC Universe streaming platform. Shows there just moved over to HBO MAX whenever it launched. Discovery Communications, on its end, launched Discovery+ and would add several unique shows to the platform. That was on top of adding an extensive library of shows from their networks.

When the companies merged, the decision was made to change HBO MAX simply to “MAX.”

From there, the goal was to form one app that housed all of their programming eventually. This was planned out roughly when the merger became official. To be fair, they have started this process by adding a lot of content from places under the Discovery banner such as Discovery Channel, History Channel, Animal Planet, & Travel Channel shows.

They also began to start using the Bleacher Report brand more in this area, even conducting pay-per-views through the brand. However, they have been wanting to extend the streaming concept further with All Elite Wrestling. This might very well take place in the new deal the two sides work out.


Similar to what the WWE has done with Peacock and the WWE Network (now with Netflix), the company has what they call “premium live events.” The PLE term is just there to take the place of the PPV model. The goal of these PLEs was to put more eyeballs on WWE programming. The move made sense, as the PPV model has pretty much become obsolete. It’s hard to get people invested in a monthly PPV, but you can likely always interest people enough for PLE.

Not only is the price significantly lower, but it also allows WWE to make extra revenue and get more attention. That said, it only makes sense for All Elite Wrestling to do the same thing. That seems to be what the plan is, at least for Warner Bros. Discovery.

Fightful reported that WBD has been interested in adding AEW PPVs to their MAX streaming platform “for quite some time.” Streaming will be a huge component of the negotiations between both parties. WBD enters every TV deal with the idea of considering how they can use MAX in the agreement.

Most would agree that if MAX does like ESPN does with the UFC and forces fans to pay for the platform and then the PPV itself, this move will fail. Meanwhile, if they do the WWE/Peacock concept of not charging for anything other than the streaming platform itself, things will pay off well for them here. All Elite Wrestling, in turn, will benefit heavily from the move honestly.